The holiday season is a time of more cooking, eating and indulging and sadly, more digestive and stomach troubles for infants, toddlers and kids. I’m fortunate that my three children are healthy and get through the cold season pretty well without any major illness but digestive and tummy troubles are more frequent this time of the year.
Today I’m excited to bring you these important stomach health tips in partnership with KnowYourOTC.org to keep your infants, toddlers and kids protected and healthy all season long.
Common Digestive and Stomach Problems In Baby and Kids
“The Poop Talk”
Unfortunately, digestive and stomach problems in baby and kids are common all year round. Did you know that in the first year with a baby, parents change at least 2,000 diapers? If you have multiple children like me, this means we change more than 10,000 diapers in one lifetime!
What causes the stomach flu?
Stomach flus are very common during the holiday and winter season. With three kids, it seems like there’s always a child or staff who is out sick with the stomach flu. It always makes me nervous to hear that my child’s classmate or teacher has the stomach flu because I worry about it being passed onto my kid.
Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis or stomach flu, in the US and it tends to peak in the winter months, similar to the flu. According to NBC News, “it makes 21 million people sick every year in the US.” This is an astounding number that reminds us to take necessary precautions to avoid it altogether.
To avoid the common stomach flu virus, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly often and encourage your children to do the same. And of course, drink lots of water and load your body with healthy foods like fruits and vegetables to keep up your immune system.
Constipation in kids
If you have a child who you believe is constipated, you aren’t alone. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, constipation is the reason for about 3-5% of visits to the pediatrician each year.
In my family, we drink a lot of water and eat a lot of soups and fiber rich food to avoid constipation. So far it has been effective in preventing constipation and soup is my 2 year old son’s favorite food!
Constipation in infants
Here is a short video I made with Dr. Katie who provides her insight about constipation in infants.
KnowYourOTC’s.org is a valuable resource for parents to help us feel confident in how to help our children safely and find relief from upset stomach symptoms. If you have specific questions about treating constipation in kids, you can refer to this page about constipation on the KnowYourOTCs.org website.
Simple Tips For Preventing Stomach Pain In Baby and Kids
As parents, we don’t like to think about stomach and digestive problems in our infants, toddlers and kids but it’s imperative that we know what they look like and how to treat stomach pain when it does affect our children.
- Make sure your child isn’t over eating.
- Encourage your child to consume more fiber-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables.
- Teach your child to drink lots of fluids, especially water.
- Teach your child to always wash his/her hands before eating.
- Tell your child to avoid eating right before bedtime.
- Encourage regular sleep and exercise routine.
- Refer to this page for safe OTC medication for stomach troubles.
Lastly, don’t forget to watch other videos where pediatrician and blogger, Dr. Katie Friedman of Forever Freckled answers commonly asked questions about diarrhea, stomach flu, constipation, food allergies and heartburn.
Thank you for reading and I wish you and your family a healthy and virus-free holiday season!