Food poisoning vs. a stomach flu

Pediatrician Tanya Altmann, MD, FAAP, shares advice for parents on how to best treat the symptoms of food poisoning or a stomach flu in children and recognize the differences between the two
Food Poisoning vs Stomach Flu in Children
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Food poisoning vs. a stomach flu

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The symptoms of stomach 'flu or an intestinal virus, or bug and food-poisoning can be very similar and parents often want to know, 'How do I tell the difference?' Well you don't really need to know the difference; if your child is vomiting ,or has diarrhea, or they are uncomfortable, we need to treat their symptoms, but generally food-poisoning will come on a little bit more suddenly. It may be worse and in some cases your child may even get more sick. It can also go away more quickly, so typically, if a vomiting and diarrhea illness starts fast and ends within 24 hours, and other people at the house, or other people at the birthday party also are throwing up, it maybe a case of food-poisoning. Whereas if your child starts vomiting and then has a week or so of diarrhea, that is more typical for a stomach virus. In either case it is important to keep your child hydrated and let your pediatrician know if your child can't keep down any fluids, if they have a high fever, if you see any blood in the stool, if they are having severe abdominal pain, or if they look really sick.

Pediatrician Tanya Altmann, MD, FAAP, shares advice for parents on how to best treat the symptoms of food poisoning or a stomach flu in children and recognize the differences between the two

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Tanya Altmann, MD, FAAP

Pediatrician

A leading medical authority for the popular press and entertainment industry, Dr. Tanya Altmann is a best-selling author, parenting expert and media spokesperson. A working mother and UCLA-trained pediatrician who practices in Southern California, Dr. Tanya is a designated spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, communicating complicated medical issues into easily understood concepts.  She is a child health expert for numerous news programs and talk shows including Today (NBC), and KTLA (CW Los Angeles). She stays on the cutting edge through her position as an Assistant Clinical Professor at Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA, as the Chief Medical Advisor for the Newborn Channel and her private practice.

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