Tag Archive | "food poisoning"

Food Poisoning Treatment – A Guide For Parents

Food poisoning can also strike children. This occurs a few hours after consumption of contaminated food. Most cases of food poisoning resolve after one to two days. Here is a guide on food poisoning treatment to help parents remedy this illness.

Identify The Symptoms

First of all, you need to assess the symptoms of food poisoning. These include vomiting, severe diarrhea, fever, queasiness, stomach pains or cramps and lethargy. It is important that you do this to ensure immediate medical attention is not required.

Maintain Good Hydration

Encourage your toddler to drink plenty of liquids. This will help replenish the lost fluids and electrolytes in the body preventing dehydration and wash out toxins from the body. You may let him take smalls sips of water, tea, ginger ale, apple juice, broth or an electrolyte oral solution such as Equalyte or Pedialyte (as long as your pediatrician recommends it) frequently throughout the day. However, avoid offering carbonated and sugary drinks such as soda and fruit juice as this may aggravate your toddler’s condition.

Monitor The Fever

If your toddler’s temperature is over 102 degrees Fahrenheit, you may give him over-the-counter acetaminophen or ibuprofen (e.g. Tylenol or Motrin). Make sure you read the label or ask your doctor for the proper dosage. If your toddler does not get better after taking the medication or his temperature rises to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, go to your pediatrician immediately.

Keep Your Toddler Comfortable

If your little one is vomiting, have him lie down on his side to minimize the risk of aspiration (accidental inhalation of vomit into the lungs). Keep his area at a room temperature. Extreme cold and heat can worsen the symptoms.

It is also important that you limit or remove distractions. Keep the TV volume down, avoid entertaining visitors for now, do not let him play vigorous activities or anything that can stress your toddler out. Encourage your toddler to read or play quiet games (e.g. jigsaw puzzles, stacking blocks, drawing, etc.) in bed. Play soothing music. This will allow your little one to relax without getting bored.

Monitor Your Toddler’s Diet

Since your toddler’s digestive system will still be weak and sensitive from the symptoms, do not give him solid foods for at least 24 hours. Stick to soft foods or the BRAT diet – bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. Once the symptoms have stopped, you may slowly introduce solid foods again. Serve small portions of food that are mild on the stomach such as cereal, crackers, skinless chicken breast and light soups. Stay away from acidic, dairy, fatty, greasy, spicy and sweet foods for 3 to 7 days.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Make sure your toddler gets complete bed rest for 24 hours or until the symptoms are gone. Adequate rest enables the body to deflect energy to the problem and to recuperate from the stress and energy necessary to fight against the infection.

Food poisoning normally goes away in a few days. But, if food poisoning last longer than five days or your toddler shows signs of dizziness, dehydration, discolored hands and feet and decreased urination, see your doctor. Your toddler might have to be hospitalized for a few days to receive IV rehydration.

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Important Tips On How To Prevent Food Poisoning In Your Home

Contaminated food can cause mayhem to little tummies. Hence, food safety at home should be every parent’s priority. It is easy to prevent food poisoning in your home by following these tips.

Practice Handwashing

The number one cause of food poisoning is poor handwashing. Train your toddler to wash his hands, use soap and rub his hands together for at least 20 seconds before and after eating, after using the restroom and after playing. Your toddler’s busy hands will come into contact with germs and once he places his hands inside his mouth, there is a 90% chance for him to get sick. Of course, do not forget to wash your own hands as well especially before cooking and after handling raw foods such as chicken, fish and meat.

Cook Food Thoroughly

Toddlers have sensitive tummies and eating raw and uncooked food will truly result to stomach aches. Keep in mind that contaminated food often looks and smells normal. Use a food thermometer to test if the fish, chicken, meat and poultry are cooked to a safe temperature. Make sure to place the food thermometer in the thickest part of the food and away from the bone. You can eliminate harmful organisms in most foods by cooking them to temperatures between 140 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

Avoid Certain Foods

Food poisoning is very common to young children since they have undeveloped immune systems. Avoid giving the following foods to your little one:

  • Undercooked eggs
  • Soft cheeses (brie, feta and blue-veined cheeses)
  • Certain seafoods such as clam, mussel, oyster, scallop and shellfish
  • Raw meat and chicken
  • Unpasteurized (failure to undergo in the process of food heating) milk and milk products

Portion Food Accordingly

Divide your toddler’s food into small containers. This way, the untouched food can be stored in the fridge for a few days. Allow warm leftovers to cool down a bit before placing it in the refrigerator. Make sure to put it away within two hours. The refrigerator should be cold enough (at least 40 degrees or below) to slow down the growth of bacteria. If you have to re-heat his food, only warm up enough for your toddler to eat at that sitting.

Keep Your Kitchen Clean

So you have followed the tips above, but have you checked your kitchen? Bacteria can live on kitchen surfaces and spread to other foods so make sure you clean your kitchen. Wash cooking utensils carefully before and after use. Do not use the same knife and chopping board to slice raw fish and then fresh fruits for dessert. Scrub the countertop, kitchen sink and kitchen utensils with hot soapy water. Wash your towels often and replace the sponge every few weeks.

Throw It Out

If you are unsure if the chicken sandwich you prepared for your toddler is safe, discard it. Remember, if you are in doubt, throw it out. Just prepare a new one for your little one.

Food safety at home all boils down to cleanliness, proper preparation and correct storage to keep your youngster’s tiny tummy safe and healthy.

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