Parents know the situation: the phone rings, the kindergarten or school answers – your child should be picked up immediately. The reasons for this are not infrequently sudden vomiting and severe diarrheal. The so-called gastrointestinal flu not only occurs more frequently in the cold season, it is also one of the widespread diseases in summer, especially among children. So that your child will get well again quickly, in this guide we will inform you which tried and tested home remedies can be used to counteract it, but also which remedies from the pharmacy can be used to bring the stomach and intestines back into balance. You will also find out. what a gastrointestinal infection is, what processes take place in the body and when a doctor should be consulted.
The best home remedies for children with diarrhea vomiting
Even if the complaints usually only last for a short time, the health of the little patient should be restored quickly. And it is also a relief for the parents to know when their child is better. But which home remedies help when children suffer from a gastrointestinal infection and what should you watch out for?
Increase your hydration and balance your salt deficit
If your child’s disease progresses in the normal course from initial nausea to eruptive diarrhea, there are many helpful home remedies that you can use to combat the symptoms and help your child regain health.
The top priority is: drink a lot!
Make sure that your child drinks enough. Solid food should not be given in the first few hours after the onset of the disease; instead, regular and extensive drinking should be ensured. Are suitable:
- Unsweetened tea: Chamomile, peppermint or fennel tea not only have a calming, but also an anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic effect.
- Homemade blueberry tea : Take 2 teaspoons of dried (not fresh!) And ground blueberries and brew them with 150 ml of water and let the brew steep for about 10 to 15 minutes. Blueberry tea contains many tannins that protect the intestinal mucosa from bacterial attacks.
- Still water: The minerals it contains have a positive effect on intestinal activities.
- Diluted apple juice or juice spritzers
Since many important salts are excreted in addition to water during a gastrointestinal infection, the electrolyte balance of the organism must also be taken into account.
- Electrolyte solution: You can easily make your own electrolyte solution from 4 level teaspoons of sugar and one teaspoon of salt, mixed in one liter of water , which you can give your child spoon by spoon or mix with another drink. You will also find ready-made electrolyte mixtures, e.g. in powder form, in our range . These contain salts, minerals and glucose in an optimally balanced ratio. All products are already suitable for children in infancy and are also available with a taste, which can be particularly advantageous when administering the solution to children. The products are easy to use and also ideal for on the go.
If your child refuses to drink, try giving the liquid by sips or spoons at short intervals. If the child does not want to drink at all, consult a doctor.
Tip: Colorful straws may help stimulate your child’s desire to drink!
Important: Offer your child tea if they drink it lukewarm, not hot. Water as well as juice spritzers must not contain carbon dioxide, because this irritates the stomach, which is already stressed, and rises again, which leads to renewed vomiting. You should therefore refrain from using the well-known home remedies pretzel sticks and cola with your child! That would be counterproductive for the child. Pretzel sticks contain a lot of sodium, but not the important electrolyte potassium. And the cola with its caffeine, the high sugar content and the carbonic acid stimulates the digestive activity even more.
What to do with breastfeeding and bottle-fed children
Breastfeeding children who are affected by a gastrointestinal infection should be laid on more often during this time in order to counteract a loss of fluid. If the child does not have enough strength to suckle, give them some liquid with a teaspoon. Instead of the usual baby milk, bottle-fed children should receive unsweetened tea or still water at room temperature. Here, too, you should use a teaspoon of fluids if the child is too weak to drink. Please refrain from giving baby milk, as this can lead to renewed vomiting.
Appropriate nutrition for gastroenteritis
Loss of appetite in the young patients at the onset of this disease is perfectly normal. But at some point a desire for food develops in order to regain strength. Most of the time, your child will find out on their own when their appetite has returned. Then it is advisable to start with a light diet that is gentle on the stomach.
From carrot soup to apple grated: suitable meals for children with gastrointestinal infections
A carrot soup is particularly suitable for children to feed the stomach again. The famous recipe of the so-called Moro soup (named after its inventor, the pediatrician Ernst Moro) is ideal as a diarrhea-reducing diet. All that is needed is 500 grams of carrots, which are cooked in one liter of water. Subsequent pureeing and adding a pinch of salt guarantee the stomach little digestive work and supply the body with electrolytes and fluids. You can have your child eat the soup several times throughout the day.
Grated apples (including peel) are also an unbeatable home remedy . The apple pulp is not only easy for the body to process and tastes good to the child, the apples also contain the plant substance pectin. The pectin acts as a liquid binder and also forms a protective layer on the intestinal mucosa , which makes it less vulnerable.
A mashed banana, on the other hand, is rich in minerals and is an excellent way of helping the body replenish its potassium stores.
High-starch, binding foods that do not contain any fat are suitable for building up a further diet. Proven options are
- Rice or rice gruel, lightly salted
- Oat or rice gruel
- White bread
Avoid dairy, sweetened or fried foods, all of which are too challenging for the digestive system and aggravate diarrhea. On the other hand, you should be cautious about giving fatty foods, as fat stimulates digestion and thus again burdens the stomach and intestines. You can read more tips about an adequate diet for diarrhea in our advice article on home remedies for diarrhea .
More tips that can be implemented quickly
A hydration and salt intake adapted to the special circumstances as well as an equally gentle and invigorating diet are considered the number 1 home remedy for gastrointestinal diseases in children. What else can you do?
Proven help with stomach aches and pinches is moist warmth . Regardless of whether it is a hot water bottle, heated grain pillow or a moist belly wrap – the warmth relaxes you. To increase the effect, place a damp washcloth between your stomach and the heat source. Warm, moist envelopes are also quickly prepared: Dip a cloth in warm water, wring it out well and place it on the patient’s tummy. Place a dry towel on the envelope, cover it well – done.
Love, closeness and warmth
When a child is sick, the best medicine is parental care and attention . Be there for your child and be open to their needs. A cooling cloth on the forehead in case of nausea, a spittoon in front of the bed or a spit guard on the bed are quickly prepared and show your child your concern. A new picture book or a radio play will drive away the boredom while you are bedridden. And cuddling, if possible, is beneficial for your child’s health. Perhaps you can lie down on the couch together or you can prepare a small area of mattresses on the floor of the children’s room. Cuddling together not only provides warmth, but also comforts the child.
Prevent further infections
To protect the health of you, your family and those around you, it is best to immediately take some necessary hygiene measures . To prevent the disease from spreading, wash and disinfect your hands frequently, especially if you come into contact with infectious waste. Ideally, wear gloves and even a face mask when cleaning the child. At home, clean doorknobs, the bathroom, and most intensely, the toilet. Disinfection for hands and surfaces, disposable gloves and other hygiene products can be found in our online shop. Make sure you also think about the extended environment: If children have a contagious infection, it is advisable to inform the daycare center or school as soon as possible so that measures against infection can be taken there too.
Tip: If even small children get used to washing their hands after using the toilet, the risk of smear infection is reduced.
As unpleasant and unsavory as gastrointestinal infections are, they usually heal themselves. The duration and intensity of the symptoms depend on the causative agent. But the younger the child, the more dangerous gastroenteritis can become.
Please note: In some cases a doctor’s visit is mandatory. If vomiting and diarrhea occur at the same time and persist with undiminished violence, one should
- with an infant after 6 hours at the latest,
- with a toddler under three years of age within 12 hours,
- and with an older child after a day of observation
see a doctor. If additional symptoms occur during the course of the disease, such as high fever, blood in the stool or dehydration as a result of the massive loss of fluid, a specialist must also be consulted immediately.
A visit to the doctor is also advisable if:
- very little urine is excreted and the child avoids drinking
- has watery stools more than 6 times a day
- complains of severe abdominal pain or indicates that he has severe abdominal pain
- As a parent, you are very worried. Consult a doctor if you are unsure and it is better to have your child checked again. This also gives you as parents a security that you ultimately convey to your child.
Dehydration: Recognize the danger
The risk of dehydration is particularly high in children. The small bodies lose a lot of fluids through the excretions. It is therefore imperative to be able to spot the signs.
- Dry mouth
- White skin
- Apathy, drowsiness
- Deep breathing through your mouth
- No tear fluid
- In babies: sunken fontanel
If your child has these symptoms frequently, there is an acute emergency and the child needs medical treatment immediately! So don’t let it get that far in the first place and pay close attention to the fluid balance of the little patient.
The most common home remedies are usually always available, so help is available quickly at home. But it can happen that complaints arise during a vacation trip or an excursion. Home remedies are rarely available in these cases. In these cases, you can use over-the-counter products from your online pharmacy, which can also be used on babies and toddlers.
Gastrointestinal infections are among the most common infectious diseases worldwide. Because gastroenteritis can be triggered by a large number of highly infectious germs. In most cases, the cause of diarrhea is noro, rota or adenoviruses, but also bacteria (e.g. Campylobacter or Salmonella) are attackers. As a result of the penetration of these pathogens, the unpleasant symptoms of nausea, sudden vomiting and suddenly severe diarrhea, often accompanied by abdominal pain and cramps, occur . But just as suddenly as the disease strikes the body, it disappears again. As a rule, you will be symptom-free again after a few days.
Important: The blame for diarrhea and vomiting at the same time can in rare cases also be parasites, with which you come into contact, for example, on vacation. In this case, the gastrointestinal complaints last for weeks and a doctor’s visit is urgently required. In summer, food poisoning from spoiled food is not unlikely, as this is characterized by the particularly short persistence of vomiting and diarrhea.
What happens in the body with gastrointestinal flu?
Once they have arrived in the digestive system, the pathogens begin to multiply and either attack the mucous membranes of the stomach and small intestine themselves or produce toxins which take over. The damaged stomach lining can no longer digest the food properly. The body responds by vomiting to protect itself and get rid of the intruders quickly. However, once the viruses or bacteria have established themselves in the intestine, the mucous membrane cells are damaged there too and the small intestine can no longer optimally absorb the food components, which are hardly digested anyway. As a result, there is a high salt concentration in the intestinal area. Now water is introduced into the intestine to compensate for the excessive electrolyte content. This creates the watery diarrhea,
Why do children especially often suffer from vomiting diarrhea?
Children are particularly prone to this type of diarrhea. The child’s gastrointestinal tract is more sensitive and therefore more susceptible to infectious germs.
The pathogen is often infected by droplets or smear infections. The germs get there, for example, by hand-to-mouth transmission, for example when eating, into the organism. However, transmission through the finest droplets of saliva when speaking or coughing is also possible. The germs are highly contagious and usually have an incubation period of just a few hours to a few days. Contact with an infected playmate or forgetting to wash your hands before eating is enough to catch the disease. Once infected, the infected person remains a source of transmission for days or even weeks, which means that a gastrointestinal germ can proliferate in school or kindergarten. In this respect, it is normal for young children to develop gastrointestinal flu once or twice a year.
Gastrointestinal infections are not uncommon in children and occur more often, especially in smaller children. But even with simple home remedies, you can quickly improve the situation. Adequate hydration is essential to avoid dehydration. Therefore, make sure that your child drinks enough or offer him the appropriate amount of fluids. If you are unsure, the symptoms persist over a long period of time or if you have a fever, please consult a doctor immediately.