Thursday, March 26, 2009

New Guidelines for Stomach "Flu"

I'm starting to fear that this will never end.

I've sent Bumpa to get Megan and Trey at the airport today. Claire woke up puking (AGAIN) and even though BJ arranged to be able to stay home with her, I didn't feel like I could leave knowing she's feeling so poorly. I just want to hold her. It's all I can do to help, at this point, so I'm gonna do it. I've barely put her down today, except to shower and eat.

Did you know that the guidelines for treating vomiting and diarrhea have changed since we were kids? Yeah, I didn't either until I started googling things like "MAKE MY BABY BETTER NOW, DAMNIT, DR. GOOGLE, OR I WILL NEVER SPEAK TO YOU AGAIN."

According to
The biggest mistake that parents make when their kids have diarrhea and vomiting, next to giving the wrong fluids, is being too aggressive and giving their children too much to drink at one time. Especially if your child is vomiting frequently, instead of letting them drink whatever they want, you should limit them to just a teaspoon at a time, using a syringe, medicine dropper, or an actual teaspoon. Your can then gradually increase the amount you give at each time as your child begins to keep it down.

A good starting point is a teaspoon or tablespoon of fluid every five or ten minutes for the first hour or two, increasing to a few tablespoons at a time once the vomiting decreases and your child is keeping the fluids down well.

Which is completely different from the advice when we were kids, which was, "Nothing to eat or drink for at least four hours, if not longer, or until you can't stand the crying and begging for food and fluid any longer." also says not to give soda (there goes Sprite and Ginger Ale, which I still can't drink unless I'm sick because they remind me too much of being sick), Jello (again, something I can only eat when ill), and fruit juice. They recommend Oral Rehydration Solution, like Pedialyte, but it's NASTY. Even the doctor on call the other night said, "Well, Pedialyte's fine if you can get her to drink it, but it tastes awful. Try Gatorade." (Check with your doctor, because I know that very young babies really ought not have Gatorade... Claire's two now. Your mileage may vary.) According to, you don't have to restrict dairy anymore, either, and they even go so far as to recommend yogurt, saying that it may help your child get over diarrhea (that came from the BRAT diet page).

So here's what we've been doing for the last half hour (since I read that) and Claire is already perking up. She last vomited at 9 am, and had had nothing to eat or drink since. At 11 am I gave her two teaspoons of Gatorade, using the medicine syringe. I set the timer for 10 minutes and told her that she could have more when the timer went off (which she accepted much more easily than, "You have to wait"). After 10 minutes, I gave her 3 teaspoons. After 10 minutes more, I'll give her 4 teaspoons. When she gets to an ounce (6 teaspoons), if she keeps that down for 10 minutes, I'm going to let her have a couple of bites of banana. If she keeps that down, I'm going to try some dry crackers.

If I'd known about the guideline change before, I would've started giving her fluid after an hour instead of two.

I guess you're supposed to get them back onto their regular diet as soon as they're keeping down the ORS. Not starve them for days, which is what our parents (lovingly, and using the best information they had at the time, after all, they didn't have Google in the 1970s and 1980s) did when we were sick as kids. The BRAT diet has also fallen out of favor. Even so, I'm going to stick with bland, easily digested foods like toast and bananas as opposed to more complicated foods to digest (not to mention clean up if they come back up!) like spaghetti and meatballs. But it's nice to know that if she starts begging for soup, I can give her some chicken noodle without breaking the "rules."

She's still fighting the diarrhea and the diaper rash. Bumpa picked up some acidophilus tablets at CVS that I broke open and sprinkled directly on her rash. It did look better this morning, after the oatmeal bath and Vaseline treatment we tried last night, but it's still pretty red and there are a couple open sores. We'll see how she's responding to the topical acidophillus at the next diaper change (I'm leaving her diaper area alone as much as I can, and since everything has been coming up instead of going through her, her diapers haven't been plentiful this morning).

Since I've been writing, we've passed the "four teaspoon" mark, and she's still keeping it down. That means she's had eight teaspoons, or over an ounce, with no vomiting. HOORAY FOR SCIENCE!!!

I'll keep y'all posted on how this all works out.

Meanwhile, perspective. I'm anxious for an update on little Stellan.

1 comment:

strwberrryjoy said...

Try A & D Original Ointment...the yellow lid! It also comes in tubes. The white stuff I SWEAR makes a rash worse. It doesn't let the skin breathe. This kind of A & D smells funny due to the lanonlin but I have found it the most healing. Claire had an issue with a rash right after she turned 12 months in July. She either got it from dirty pool water or the doctor's office...ANYWAY...she had a double ear infection...which the antibiotics led to the worst diaper rash I've ever seen overnight. I would put her in the crib right after she'd had a blowout to "air dry" So if she peed, the pee would only be on the stuff in the crib...really only need to do 5-10 min. but I also think the wet all the time makes healing take longer so be sure she is good and dry before re-diapering. I never tried it, but if it's a yeast rash, try putting straight plain yogurt on it for a bit.