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What are the symptoms of gastroenteritis in children?

Gastroenteritis happens when the stomach and lining of the intestines are irritated. In the first 12 to 48 hours (the first phase) of gastroenteritis, the child usually becomes sick suddenly with:
  • low-grade fever (100 degrees F/38 degrees C)
  • frequent, forceful diarrhea
  • bowel movements that are watery, foul smelling, and usually green
  • vomiting
  • sometimes a cough and a runny nose
After the first 12-48 hours the child may have:
  • mild diarrhea for 3-9 days
  • dehydration (not enough fluids in the body). This is a serious problem. Some children may need to be admitted to the hospital.

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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.