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Diarrhoea & Vomiting

This  is to advise you of the diarrhoea and/or vomiting illness which is often present in the community at this time of the year and what you can do to reduce the spread of the infection.

What should you do if your child is unwell with diarrhoea and/or vomiting?

  • Make sure they get plenty of rest
  • Ensure they drink plenty of fluids, taking sips rather than gulps to avoid vomiting
  • Give infant Paracetamol or Ibuprofen, according to the product instructions, to help keep their temperature down
  • If your child is unusually sleepy, won’t take fluids or has other symptoms, such as blood in their diarrhoea, an unusual rash, headache, neck stiffness or difficulty breathing, ring NHS Direct (111), contact your GP or take your child to hospital
  • Please ring your child’s nursery/school and let them know that your child is ill and what symptoms they have
  • Please ensure that a stool specimen is submitted for your child via your GP
  • Keep them at home until they are well enough to return to nursery/school but ensure they have been at home for at least 48 hours after the first normal stool

How can you prevent the spread of these infections?

Hand washing is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of these infections. This applies to the child who is ill and the person looking after them. Hands should always be washed with hot water and antibacterial liquid soap:

  • before and after caring for your child
  • after using the toilet
  • before eating or handling food
  • after cleaning up vomit, faeces or urine

Other ways of preventing the spread of infection are to:

  • do not share bath water
  • keep a separate towel for each family member who has symptoms
  • clean baths and washbasins thoroughly and disinfect after use, paying particular attention to the washbasin taps
  • disinfect the toilet flush handles and door handles
  • dispose promptly of used tissues and other items that your child may have coughed or sneezed on
  • wash soiled clothing, bed linen and towels separately in a washing machine, use the hottest wash for that fabric

If cleaning up diarrhoea or vomit, wash the surface with hot soapy water and disinfect before allowing to dry. If using bleach remember that it can remove the colour from fabrics and can burn the skin.

Keep your child away from other children and people that are particularly vulnerable, e.g. the elderly and those with long-standing illnesses.

If you require any further information or advice, contact Environmental Health Officer of your Local Council: