Diarrhoea & Vomiting (Gastroenteritis, Food Poisoning etc)

This is usually caused by a virus which will settle in 24 hours if you do the right things. Usually no prescription is needed. Avoid all food and milk as well as tea and coffee for a full 24 hours. Drink plenty of clear fluids starting with small amounts first if vomiting is a problem. Any diluted juice will do. A solution of one teaspoon of sugar and half a teaspoon of salt in a pint of water is an excellent means of fluid replacement. After 24 hours, and if symptoms have been absent for at least six hours, start to eat a light diet.

A normal diet can be resumed a day later. In young children there is a danger of dehydration if symptoms are severe or prolonged. Give plenty of fluids and paracetamol if hot. If the child is listless and wetting nappies rarely, contact the doctor. If symptoms persist longer than 48 hours or come on after a trip abroad come and see us at the surgery for further advice.