Parents reminded ‘there’s no place like home’ for children with sickness and diarrhoea

Parents reminded ‘there’s no place like home’ for children with sickness and diarrhoea
09 January 2017

Health care professionals in East Staffordshire are reminding parents that there’s no place like home if a child becomes ill with sickness and diarrhoea this winter. Norovirus is particularly common during the colder months with symptoms including vomiting and diarrhoea.

The bug is very easily spread, especially among small children who are too young to understand good hygiene.

Health care professionals at Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are now urging parents to help prevent the norovirus bug from spreading by keeping their children at home if they show any signs of the illness. Paula Gardner, Chief Nurse, said: “Norovirus can be very unpleasant – not to mention distressing for parents whose children are suffering with its symptoms – but it usually clears up by itself within a few days.

“If your child experiences sudden diarrhoea or vomiting, the best thing to do is to keep them at home until they’re feeling better. There is no treatment for norovirus so you have to let it run its course.

“You should keep your child off school or nursery for 48 hours after the symptoms have passed. There’s usually no need to visit your GP and because the virus spreads very easily you can put others at risk.

“If possible, you should also try to keep your child away from close contact with older people and very young babies as they too can be vulnerable to the illness – and certainly avoid visiting anyone who is ill in hospital and whose immune system is already weakened.

“Norovirus spreads through contaminated surfaces and close contact with other people, so you should also wash your and your child’s hands regularly while they are ill until at least 48 hours after the symptoms have cleared to the reduce the risk of passing it on.

“If you have any concerns, call 111 to talk to the NHS to seek advice on the best course of action for the symptoms.” If norovirus affects your family, follow Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s top tips:

  • Children or babies who have diarrhoea and vomiting should be kept away from childcare or school for at least 48 hours after the symptoms have passed
  • Make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration and gets plenty of rest. Give children paracetamol for any fever, aches or pains. Check with your pharmacist if you’re not sure what’s suitable for their age.
  • Make sure everyone in the family washes their hands frequently, preferably using liquid soap with warm running water. They also need to dry their hands properly.
  • It's particularly important for everyone to wash their hands after going to the toilet or changing a nappy as well as before eating
  • Anyone who has diarrhoea and vomiting should have their own towel to use
  • Disinfect any surfaces or objects that could be contaminated, preferably using a bleach-based household cleaner
  • Wash any items of clothing or bedding that could have become contaminated separately on a hot wash to ensure the virus is killed
  • Babies and children shouldn’t swim in public swimming pools for two weeks after diarrhoea and vomiting have stopped

For more information on protecting yourself and your family against norovirus and other winter illnesses, visit www.nhs.uk/staywell.

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