Here We Go Again: Banishing Germs And Dealing With GASTRO-Sickness. An Annual Tradition Relived

We love to pick up germs on vacation, and now my girl is in swim camp, so the tradition of sharing has continued. We have been passing around a stomach bug for two weeks, and all seems quiet for now. I am still on vacation until August, so here is another old post from the toddler days. This post was the first account of our ordeal with a two year old that contracted salmonella, but we wouldn't find that out for two more weeks. The best advice of all is to avoid salmonella by not eating undercooked meats, or eating picnic foods that haven't been kept, warm or cold to proper temps!.

We had just gotten home from a Labour Day Weekend road trip, and a stomach bug dared to attach to us as a stow-away.  Princess Destructo has been down for the count since late Monday Night.  The symptoms were mild at first, but a raging fever started on Tuesday. Little One is too tired to even fight the Advil doses. So while she is napping, I am cleaning and over-dosing on caffeine to make up for being up 24 hours straight.

I brought her to the clinic at the 30 hour mark, even though I was pretty sure the conversation would go something like this:
Zombie Mom: My 2 year old has had diarrhea for 30 hours, and a low-grade (100 F) fever for 20 hours.

Doctor: It's likely a Gastro-intestinal virus. Keep her hydrated with pedialyte, and dosed with children's Advil for fever. This could last 7 days, if she gets significantly worse, go to EMERG.

For the most part the clinic visit went exactly like that. But I was stopped in my tracks when the Doctor said that I could give her apple juice right away.  I quickly spoke up before she she could turn and dash from the room to see other patients. 

Zombie Mom: We saw you six months ago with a similar illness, you said apple juice increases diarrhea. 

Doctor: Giving her apple juice will help get nutrients in her.

Zombie Mom: Oh, okay.

So we came home and gave her a little apple juice diluted with water. Not 5 minutes later it was running through her.  Which was way worse than the hourly or bi-hourly episodes.  So using my better judgement, I banned the apple juice again, then spent most of the afternoon looking for better hydration options.  There are some articles that suggest white grape juice is better than apple juice, so I have switched to giving her a little of that diluted with water. And I'm sticking to the BRAT-Y diet for her too.
What to Eat
A common diet that's recommended for 2-year-olds and other young children is the BRAT diet. Central Connecticut State University states that the BRAT diet is used to treat nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The letters in BRAT stand for bananas, rice, apples and plain toast. recommends adding a "Y" to the BRAT diet for yogurt. Yogurt contains probiotics, healthy bacteria that can help promote healthy digestion. Until your toddler's condition improves, do not give her any other foods.
Dehydration Prevention
Dehydration prevention is critical when it comes to a diarrhea diet for your 2-year-old. In order to prevent dehydration, increase the amount of liquid your child is drinking. White grape juice can be used along with electrolyte-infused beverages made for toddlers. If you child will not drink more liquid, purchase electrolyte-infused ice pops that your child can suck on.
 Quote from LiveStrong 09/07/11.

It's hard to tell if switching to white grape juice is helping to decrease the episodes, or whether the illness is simply running it's course. As I type, Little One is munching plain toast and watching her favourite show "In The Night Garden" for the first time in two nights.

I would like to know how other families cope with sickness? Do you rush to the doctor, or try to use family advice and your own best judgement?

*I am not a physician, and any advice contained in this post should not be taken as expert opinion.


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