3 Serious Causes Of Food Poisoning In Children You Should Be Aware Of

food pooisoning

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Is your child feeling nauseous or experiencing abdominal cramps in the stomach soon after having food? He might be suffering from food poisoning.

Food poisoning is a common illness among children as they have an under developed immune system which makes them prone to all kinds of infections.

Why Home-Cooked Is The Best?

Being a responsible parent, you might be packing healthy foods that you prepared in a hygienic way for your child.

  • In spite of all these, letting them enjoy restaurant food or drinks can lead to food poisoning.
  • This is because the ingredients or the water used to prepare the food might be contaminated with bacteria, virus or toxic matter.
  • Such germs might be in abundance in areas, where the food is being prepared by people with less than ideal hygiene practices.

3 Causes Of Food Poisoning In Children:

Food poisoning in children is caused by the presence of bacteria, virus, parasites or toxins in the foods which can contaminate it.

1. Bacteria:

The contamination of food is generally caused by various kinds of bacteria, which can make it cause food poisoning in your child.

  • Campylobacter: This bacterium is found in untreated water, under cooked meat and unpasteurized milk. This bacterium can cause food poisoning symptoms in your child from two days to five days.
  • Salmonella: This bacterium is found in dairy products, egg, poultry, raw meat and water which are untreated. Salmonella can induce food poisoning symptoms in your child from 12 hours to 48 hours.
  • Listeria: This bacterium is found in most of the chilled and ready to eat foods that your child loves such as soft cheese, cooked meat, sliced butter and blue cheese. Your child will face food poisoning issues from two days to three months eating these contaminated foods.
  • E.coli: This bacteria is also known as Escherichia coli and are found in under cooked meat in meat balls, burgers etc. The symptoms of food poisoning caused by this bacterium tend to occur in your child from three days to four weeks.

[ Read : Bacterial Infections In Children ]

2. Viruses:

Some viruses like rotavirus or norovirus which is found in water, shell fish or oysters which are uncooked can cause food poisoning in your children.

3. Parasites:

Though this is a rare cause of food poisoning, parasite like toxoplasmosis can trigger food poisoning in your child.

Other Causes:

Foods and drinks become contaminated while undergoing numerous processes such as handling, preparation and storage.

  • When the water used to cook food is accidently infected by the feces of animals, meat or poultry, which is infected by microorganisms while shipping or processing, it can trigger the issue of food poisoning in your child.
  • When foods are stored at wrong temperature or if stored for long time, it can be infected by bacteria or parasites which in turn can cause this medical issue in your child.
  • If the cooks are food handlers handle the food without washing their or use unclean utensils like trays to serve food which in turn makes your child suffer from food poisoning.

[ Read : Food Allergy And Food Intolerance ]

5 Symptoms Of Food Poisoning In Children:

The period of time it takes for your child to develop symptoms of food poisoning would vary based on the cause of infection and the amount of contaminated food he has eaten.

  1. Diarrhea: Your child will pass watery stools sometimes along with blood and mucus for more than three times in a day.
  2. Abdominal cramps: Your child would have intense or slight cramps in his abdomen which might surface every now then.
  3. Fever: Your child would have fever with high temperature along with chills, headache and body pain.
  4. Vomiting: Your child would have vomited several times a day soon after having food or drinking water.
  5. Dehydration: Your child would pass very less urine, have chapped lips, dry mouth and feel very tired.

[ Read : Diarrhea In Children ]

If you notice any of these symptoms in a severe manner in your child, make sure you take your child to a doctor immediately to seek medical attention. These symptoms can prevail for a short time ranging from few hours to long period of many weeks.

Treatment For Food Poisoning In Children:

The signs of food poisoning in children would usually settles in few days time as the immune system of your child would fight against it. Your child might be advised to get admitted if he suffers from severe symptoms or if the complications are serious.

1. Increase Fluids Intake:

If your child has low body fluids, then he will face dehydration.

  • Motivate your child to have lots of fluids as vomiting or diarrhea would cause fluid loss.
  • Avoid juice made of fruits or carbonated drinks as it can worsen the symptoms of food poisoning in your child.
  • You can also give your child re-hydration drinks if prescribed by your doctor.

[ Read : Dehydration In Children ]

2. Follow Normal Diet:

Make sure that your child eats his normal food as soon as he is is relieved from dehydration.

  • Make sure the food is not spicy or deep fried. Start with simple salads and soups.
  • Let your child have food in short intervals of time at a regular pace if he is not able to eat his plate of food.
  • Give drinks in between their foods to keep his body fluids under control.

3. Medicinal Advice:

If your child is below 12 years of age, your doctor would hot prescribe any medicines as it might cause some serious side effects in smaller children.

  • Your doctor might prescribe medicines to stop diarrhea or vomiting of your child.
  • The doctor would prescribe medicines to bring down the body temperature of your child if fever persists.
  • If the symptoms are severe, then he would require you to test the stools of your child to detect the germs which has caused the infection.

We hope that the information we have compiled about the causes, symptoms and treatments for food poisoning, were useful for you. To avoid this problem, we urge you and your family to eat home cooked food and also eat out in reputable restaurants only.

[ Read : Lactose Intolerance In Children ]

Did your son or daughter suffer from food poisoning? Please share your experiences with us.

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