ADHD: A Parenting Guide

Did Your New Stepchild Get A Stomach Bug The Weekend Your Partner Is Out Of Town? Signs That It's Time To Call The Pediatrician

On the day that you and your partner entered a committed relationship, you vowed that you would always love and protect your new stepchild. While you've had some amazing moments, you've also discovered that being a new parent is a constant learning process. Now, you've found yourself at home alone with a child who is vomiting and has diarrhea, and you want to know that you are doing everything you can to keep them safe. In most cases, mild gastrointestinal symptoms can be treated with a watchful eye at home; however, you should call your child's pediatrician if you notice any of the following signs, as they can indicate that a stomach bug is something more serious:

Check for a Fever

In most cases, a mild stomach-related ailment does not cause a high fever. Always start by checking your child's temperature to see if it falls outside of the normal guidelines for their age. If so, schedule an appointment with the pediatrician to make sure that they do not have a more severe type of illness.

Be Concerned About Extreme Stomach Pain

A child with a stomach bug may complain about mild cramps or discomfort. However, these typically go away after a round of vomiting or diarrhea, until they eat again. A child who complains about severe pain that does not go away and seems to be in severe distress should be checked by their pediatrician to make sure that there is not something more serious going on, such as a different type of infection. For infants, this pain may be expressed through excessive crying or physical signs of distress such as pulling their legs up to their chest.

Watch for Signs of Dehydration

When a child is vomiting or has diarrhea, one of your biggest concerns is to keep them hydrated. Infants can dehydrate very quickly, so be sure to reach out to your local pediatric services if they are vomiting up their entire meal after having a bottle or nursing. You can also watch for signs of dehydration such as a child who does not urinate within six to eight hours. For infants, you should be concerned about not seeing a wet diaper for four hours or more. Children of all ages may also be extremely lethargic or seem weaker than normal if they are dehydrated.

Your stepchild depends upon you to be alert for signs that their stomach symptoms are getting worse. Since complications from profuse vomiting and diarrhea can set in fast, be sure to call for assistance from their pediatrician as soon as you suspect that something is just not right. Clinics like Willow Oak Pediatrics can offer more information.