Gastroenteritis in the summer
Gastroenteritis is an inflammatory disease affecting the gastrointestinal tract. The most common symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever. It can be viral or bacterial in origin, is more frequent in summer and is contagious .
The greatest incidence of gastroenteritis in the summer is due to the increase in temperatures; the heat, in fact, favors the proliferation of enemy germs of the intestine. However, there are some precautions that can be implemented to reduce the risk of our children contracting gastroenteritis in the summer.
Precautions to avoid gastroenteritis in children in the summer
- Prevent children from sharing cutlery, glasses and straws to reduce the risk of infection .
- In summer we eat more often outdoors: by the sea, in the countryside, in the woods. If you bring your lunch from home, prefer foods that are more resistant to heat . The fridge bag may not be enough to protect us, especially if it stays warm for many hours; therefore it is better to avoid foods like cold cuts and cheeses and give preference to tarallini, grissini, dry biscuits. Raw vegetables (cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots ...) and fresh seasonal fruit (watermelon, cherries, peaches, plums, melon ...) are a good solution, provided, however, that they are transported in a cooler bag with ice and kept as much as possible away from the sun . An economic alternative to taking lunch from home, which protects us from the risks of badly transported food, can be to buy a good ice cream on the spot: it is fun for children, if done right it is a fairly complete food and, once in a while, replacing a meal with an ice cream in the summer is preferable to eating takeaway food.
- Pay particular attention to food storage, not only outside, but also in your own home.
- On the way from the supermarket to your home, carry frozen food in the fridge bags .
- Respect the expiration date of the food on the label.
- Pay particular attention to hygiene in the kitchen. Always keep worktops clean and do not leave dirty dishes in the sink or in the dishwasher.
- Wash fruits and vegetables well with water and baking soda.
- Wash the bottles of younger children under running water after each use. Avoid that residues of drinks or milk remain on the teat that could favor the proliferation of germs. If necessary, boil the teat. Pay particular attention also to the hygiene of any pacifiers.
- Currently, street food is very fashionable, especially on vacation. To avoid gastroenteritis due to improper maintenance of food, be careful to buy only from traders who seem reliable and not from makeshift stalls.
- Water can also be a vehicle for gastrointestinal infections, especially stagnant infections. Attention, therefore, to this aspect. For example, if you have an inflatable paddling pool try to keep the water very clean . In order not to change it too often and avoid unnecessary waste that is not good for the environment, cover it with a waterproof sheet when it is not in use: this simple device will allow you to keep it a little longer.
And if, despite all precautions, the child takes gastroenteritis?
The greatest risk in gastroenteritis, especially in young children, is dehydration . It is therefore very important to keep fever under control and try to stop diarrhea and vomiting with pharmacological and non-pharmacological remedies.
It is also essential to replenish the fluids lost with natural water, tea, rehydration solutions, fresh fruit and vegetables.