Bodily fluids are an uncomfortable, natural side effect of having children around the house. It’s a messy job, being a mom. Unfortunately, some of these fluids come in the form of diarrhea and vomit. Rotavirus is the most common reason for diarrhea in children. In fact, it is so common that you can just about expect your child will contract it someday. Strap on some rubber gloves, mom, because it’s coming.
What Causes It
Rotavirus is an extremely viable and well-populated virus in the United States and other countries around the world. It attacks the intestines of the those who catch it. This causes vomiting and fevers in some and diarrhea in nearly all.
How It Is Transferred
Because it is an attack of the intestines, it is spread through the fecal matter of the sufferer. Children and adults can pick this up when diapers are changed or toilets are used. Those who come in contact with these items, or others such as doors or handles near the toilet, may later ingest food or put their hands in their mouths without knowing that they have picked up some of this highly populous virus. That’s all it takes to catch it. It can sometimes travel through the breath as well.
How to Prevent It
The best way to stop yourself or your child from getting this disease is to prevent the disease from getting into your mouth or other areas. Institute a very strict-hand washing rule at home, and encourage your child to take that to school or day care as well. If your child does contract rotavirus, take extra precautions to keep him from interacting with other children, especially in the bathroom and kitchen.
How to Treat It
If your child catches rotavirus, she will likely have to let her body fight the virus. Because vomiting and diarrhea are so common with this illness, you must keep her hydrated. Let her drink juices, soups and specially formulated sweet drinks that include the vitamins and minerals her body needs. Flavored ice and other icy treats may help you fill her little body with liquids.
When It Gets Really Bad
Keep an eye on your child for any signs of dehydration, such as headaches, pale skin or excessive thirst or a refusal to drink. If these occur, take him to the hospital. Dehydration is most dangerous the further along it goes. Catch it quickly, and get medical attention if necessary to prevent more serious concerns or even fatality.