Take your child to see a doctor if:
- Vomiting persists and your child is unable to keep fluids down
- Your child is dehydrated, despite the use of an oral rehydrate solution (ORS)
- You notice bloody diarrhoea or blood in the stool
- Your child’s vomit is a green or yellow colour
- Your child has diarrhoea for more than five days or is vomiting for more than two days
Also consider taking your child to the doctor if they are:
- Younger than 1 years old and showing signs of dehydration (fewer wet nappies)
- Younger than 3 months old and have a temperature of 38°C or higher
- 3-6 months old and have a temperature of 39°C or higher
Go directly to the emergency unit of your closest hospital if your child:
- Vomits blood or has vomit that looks like ground coffee
- Has a stiff neck with pain when looking at bright lights
- Has a sudden, severe headache (migraine) or stomach ache
- May have swallowed something poisonous
What to ask the doctor
- If your doctor prescribes an antibiotic, ask for a probiotic to use alongside the antibiotic. This may help your child’s healthy gut bacteria to survive.
- Ask about supplementation, especially for vitamin A and zinc.
- Ask about the rotavirus immunisation. Double check that your child has received both immunisations as part of the EPI programme.
- Ask your doctor for a rehydration solution or make your own (a solution made up of 1 litre of boiled and cooled down water, 8 tsp sugar and ½ tsp of salt).
Reviewed by Kim Hofmann, registered dietitian, BSc Medical (Honours) Nutrition and Dietetics, BSc (Honours) Psychology. August 2018.
Image credit: iStock