The main goal in treating gastroenteritis is to prevent dehydration.
For bottle-fed infants, give 1 tablespoon of Pedialyte every 5 minutes. After 4 hours without vomiting, increase the amount. After 8 hours without vomiting, return to regular formula.
- For children older than 1 year, give 1 tablespoon of Pedialyte or Gatorade every 5 minutes (Popsicles can also be given). After 4 hours without vomiting, increase the amount. After 8 hours without vomiting, add solids.
- For children eating solid foods, foods like bananas, rice cereal, applesauce, white bread, and saltine crackers are good for combatting diarrhea. However, children may not have an appetite for several days with the illness. It is more important to give fluids than solids.
- Avoid giving medications (especially anti-diarrheal medications) and fruit juices. The sugar in juice can make diarrhea worse.