Food poisoning is usually caused by food contaminated by bacteria. The
onset of the symptoms is fairly rapid, including signs of gastrointestinal
distress such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. Some
people may also experience fever, headache, and generalized weakness.
If your child becomes suddenly ill after consuming food, he or she might
only require home care to feel better again. If severe symptoms do develop, the ER at
Plantation General Hospital is always open.
Limit Food Intake
Pediatricians typically advise parents to limit their children’s
food intake for a few hours to avoid worsening the diarrhea and vomiting.
Infants can generally do fine
without feeding for three to four hours, while older children may tolerate six to eight hours of limited intake.
As the child begins to feel better, he or she can eat bland, low-fat meals
with small portions.
Diarrhea and vomiting can cause children to become dehydrated. Infants
and young children are at a particularly high risk. Encourage your child
to take small, frequent sips of non-caffeinated, non-dairy liquid. Water
and electrolyte rehydrating solutions are best.
Avoid OTC Medicines
Over-the-counter anti-diarrhea medicines can actually make the symptoms
of food poisoning persist longer than they normally would. It’s
advisable to consult a pediatrician before administering any medications
to a child with food poisoning.
Call the Pediatrician
If your child is still experiencing diarrhea and vomiting after limiting
food intake for the recommended time, it’s advisable to call the
pediatrician. A doctor should also be notified right away if the child
is experiencing severe or unusual symptoms.
Go to the ER
In severe cases, children with food poisoning require emergency care. Take
your child to the ER if he or she shows signs of dehydration, cannot keep
liquids down, has bloody diarrhea, or has diarrhea that alternates with
constipation. Possible mushroom poisoning also warrants emergency care,
as does the sudden onset of dizziness, confusion, respiratory distress,
weakness, a tingling feeling, blurry vision, or hallucinations.
When your little one isn’t feeling well, the
pediatric emergency care team at Plantation General Hospital can help. Our ER staff can quickly
assess your child’s health status and provide appropriate medical
interventions and supportive care. Our ER in Plantation, FL is available
24/7 and our Consult-A-Nurse line is available at (954) 321-4099.