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How should I treat my child's gastroenteritis?

Gastroenteritis happens when the stomach and lining of the intestines are irritated. This irritation causes diarrhea. Your child may also have belly cramps or vomiting. Your child will probably be miserable for the first 12 to 48 hours of experiencing gastroenteritis. If he has diarrhea, do not take him to day care or school. Make your child as comfortable as possible and keep him from getting dehydrated. You should give him clear fluids, but do not force them.

Begin giving him soft and then solid foods, but do this slowly. Complex carbohydrates (like bread, cereal, rice, pasta), lean meats, yogurt, fruits, and vegetables are best. There is no need to avoid milk. Avoid juices such as apple and pear because they can make diarrhea worse. Some doctors tell their patients to eat a "CRAM" diet (Chicken, Rice, And Milk). Many doctors tell their patients to eat a regular diet as long as the child drinks extra fluids to make up for all the fluids lost in bowel movements.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.