Toddler Getting over Stomach Virus

Updated on August 14, 2008
K.D. asks from Hubbard, OH
14 answers

Nolan (29 mos) is fighting a stomach virus - according to Dr/ER. They checked blood and urine. He has a low grade fever that seems to be subsiding - not more than 100.4F. He had been throwing up since last Thursday - fever started on Saturday. Throwing up is basically gone now. We had him in to ER on Sunday concerned that his temp was over 100F. They gave him IV fluids - was that ever traumatic for ALL of us - WOW. I am just giving tylenol/motrin at night to sleep/achiness per ER nurse.

Anyway he is slow to eat and drink yet, sleeps much of the time and just worries me horribly. I had him back to Dr yesterday and he said he is fine - just getting over the virus and wiped out. Yeah - I guess so!! He has periods of being more awake and alert but certainly not himself. He LOVES milk but we can't give him any and he just cries. I am trying any bits of things to get him to eat a little - mostly drink though. He is not a BRATY diet eater as ordered for recovery.

Any advice on how long this takes? It seems to be taking much longer than I thought. He also seems to be breathing a bit deeper at times and constantly scrunches up his eyes and nose. Drs just passed me off on this - don't you love it???

Call me Freaked Out Worried Mom who just wants her little boy back - trouble and all.......

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So What Happened?

Hi everyone - thanks so much for your support.

Nolan has been eating small amounts for 2 days now with everything staying down. He finally had a few bowel movements today, is taking milk easily again and even was up for some mild playtime. Still worn out but I really think as of today that he has turned the corner. Thank the heavens!! He is certainly nowhere near normal but mommy is less worried.

Well now I know what I may face if this happens again.

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answers from Columbus on

Did the doctors say anything about his appendix? I would wonder about that since he's had a fever. Good luck and I hope he feels better soon! :)

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answers from Muncie on

Why don't you have him on the BRAT diet? Just wondering. The foods on the list are simple and easy on the stomach and not many little ones dislike bananas and applesauce. Plus the doctor recommended it.

As for the scrunching and the deep breathing, it's probably nothing, perhaps just a new behavior he's picked up now that he's better. You've just been so stressed that about his illness that anything new now is going to trigger your "worried Mommy" side.

Your little one's been though a lot, he just had his body totally revolt against everything he's ever known, it's going to take time before he trusts things again. I would say he's been ill for a week, give him two weeks to recover. Just a guess, not solid evidence, just "mom intuition".

Good luck.

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answers from Indianapolis on

My son was younger - about 13.5 months I think, but we were told that their systems can take up to a week to get back to where they will eat well again. The nurse told me to breastfeed as much as he wanted, give him water or pedialyte, and then just small amounts of rice cereal. Maybe an adaptation of that would work for a 2-year-old? Does he eat oatmeal? Small amounts of that, yogurt, crackers, etc?

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answers from Dayton on

Hi K.,

My two youngest (2 and 1 yrs.) just got over a killer virus. It was the strangest thing I have ever seen. Long after they quit throwing up they still had diarrhea and had no appetite. I couldn't figure out what was wrong, but knew if I took them in they would laugh at me, no fever, they were playing, and sleeping, and drinking.

I read on Dr. Sears website that after a virus young kids like this can become temporarily lactose intollerant. The virus can cause their body not to accept what it normally would. They website recommended Yo Baby yogurt. It has the active cultures that help right the digestive system. I also had to switch to lactose free milk temporarily. Maybe if you went to something like Lactaid you could give him the dairy. My daughter is the same way with the milk. That is all she will drink.

We went through this for a month and then when we added the yogurt and lactaid they were right again within a week.

Remember that the sleep, as long as they are not dehydrated, is a good thing. That is when their bodies repair themselvs, so let him rest as much as he wants to.
Hope this helps.


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answers from Fort Wayne on

My daughter has never been a BRAT diet eater either. Try to stick to bland foods though. One of our favorites is plain noodles. Are you alternating the Tylenol/Motrin? I have heard from a few drs. that it's best to stick with one or the other. Kids organs are quite developed enough to handle that much medicine. His little body is just trying to make itself better after being sick for so long. Give him a little time. In the meantime, keep him full of fluids (water, gatorade, diluted juice) and let him get his rest. Just think about how tired you would be if you were fighting off a stomach bug for a week. He'll be back to his old self in no time.

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answers from Cincinnati on

I have just always let my kids steer me in the directin of what they want when they are sick or getting over something. I figure (within reason) they can sense what will feel okay in their stomaches. Sometimes they opt for the bland things and other times they select things that sound kind of "strong" for an upset belly. Of course, I am a person who ate pizza the same day that I had my gall bladder taken out so I guess they take after me.

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answers from Indianapolis on

My daughter's both aren't big on eating when they're sick. They really just lay on the couch a lot and veg. Of course, I'm like you, and worry about it constantly.

You might try offering him some ice water or something. (Both my daughters like to drink cold water when they're sick.) I'd be sticking to things like mashed potatoes, or crackers - even jello - stuff that should be easy on the stomach. Just periodically remind them "let me know if you need anything..."

I'd probably give him the tylenol or motrin during the day too though. If it keeps him from feeling miserable, isn't it worth it?

Good luck!

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answers from Cleveland on

Odd. . . My 13 mos old just had something similar (started the Thursday before last and ended last Thursday -- vomiting, couldn't keep anything down, not even fluids), although she had no fever. Had her in the ER twice for dehydration. At one point, she was limp, couldn't lift her head and was unresponsive. Talk about scaring the pants off of me! We're substituting pedialyte for milk right now, but she's loosing weight so we're starting to add milk back in -- very SLOWLY. She had two ounces last night and we'll do four ounces today.

Knock on wood. Good luck!

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answers from Elkhart on

My daughter had this about 3 or 4 weeks ago.
We had the scoots really bad!! Some vomit.
Went to hopstial as well.
Took at least 6 days for the stuff to stop and about 2 weeks of limited intake. Still not back fully I think.
She is 14 and special needs. Cant afford to loose all the extras anyways. Good luck! WASH YOUR HANDS!! :))



answers from Terre Haute on

The only advice I have is to keep going to different doctors if you believe there is something more going on. From what you are saying, I would be really worried too. It doesn't sound like the typical virus to me.Don't let them blow you off, and if they do, go on to another doctor. Hang in there and go with your God-given, mommy instincts!



answers from Fort Wayne on

You know, this sounds crazy, but I had this doctor one time that was treating my two kids when they caught the rota virus. He said to give them both lollipops. Something about the sugar calms or coats their bellies. I thought he was cuckoo when he told me this, but of course, he's the doctor so I tried it. It really worked! My daughter was really close to having to get an IV due to dehydration from puking, but as long as she sucked on a lollipop, the puking was not near as bad. She actually didn't end up having to be admitted like the doctor originally thought. He just had us wait in the office eating lollipops to see if the puking lessened or not, and I was also giving her about 1 teaspoon of water every 15 minutes.



answers from Indianapolis on

Hi K., I feel your pain when it comes to watching a little one suffer while having the flu. You just want them to get better right away, but it does take a while. While it's hard to hear your doctor say your son is fine even though to you he's not acting himself at all, your doctor probably is right. I have three little ones (5, 2, 1), and unless your son is completely dehydrated, lethargic, and not waking up at all, that is when there is major concern. It's sounds like to me your son had a nasty case of the flu, and it's probably just going to take his little body some time to completely get over it. I know it's hard to watch him suffer, but unless there is major cause for concern he will get better eventually! Good luck and feel better Nolan!



answers from Indianapolis on

is there a children's hospital near you? I dont want to scare you but i would recommend that you take him to a hospital or clinic that specializes in children's health. My son was doing majority of the things that you were talking about and it turned out to be ecoli, which turned into HUS (hemolytic uremic syndrome) and at first they passed it off as a virus. Test were run but they couldnt find anything. He had blood in his stool and they were really alerted then. But still nothing, his doctor's office was at Riley but they werent open and he was really new to their office. So i had no clue to take him to their ER. Well one of the doctors finally recommended for us to take him to his doctor. And i am so thankful that i did because if we hadnt who knows what wouldve happened! It is better to be safe than sorry! GO with your mother's intuition! If you have any questions for me, feel free to email me at [email protected] I really hope it is not anything serious, i dont want anyone to go through what i went through. but this is the reason that i am telling to get a second opinion and especially if he is not bouncing back. I am sorry but kids dont take that long to bounce back from being sick. So if you think that this is not how he normally acts take him.



answers from Sharon on

My son got rotovirus when he was about 12 months old. It was awful It took two full weeks before we could get him to eat or drink properly. It was so awful. He could barely stand up nad had terrible diahrea so it was burning his skin. He had a high fever. As its a virus there wasnt much they could do but we just had to keep him hydrated. He could barely even drink pedialite. Thinking back now we should ahve taken to hte hosptial for an IV becasue for two whole days he probably drunk 16 oz totla of pedialite and ate nothing. We were first time parents though nad didnt have a clue.
It sounds like you've done the right thing so far. Fluids, fluids, fluids and dont worry too much about his eating. He needs to rehydrate himself mostly. Can you give him watered down juice? Surely for now its better than nothing. There expensive but you van get those special sippy bottles with characters on the top. I think the're called tummy ticklers.
He amy be scrunching up his face bcuase hes uncomfortable too.
Good luck

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