Skip to content

First Aid & Emergencies

Font Size

Gastroenteritis Treatment

Call 911 if:

  • The person experiences signs of dehydration.
  • The person may have food poisoning from eating a canned food.

  • The person experiences signs of dehydration.
  • The person may have food poisoning from eating a canned food.

Know the Signs of an Emergency:

Signs of dehydration:

  • Little to no urination
  • Extreme thirst
  • Lack of tears
  • Dry mouth
  • Sunken eyes
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Rapid breathing and heartbeat
  • Lack of alertness
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Trouble swallowing or breathing
  • Muscle weakness

Signs of food poisoning from eating a canned food:

  •  Symptoms may start within hours of eating the contaminated food
  • Others who ate the food are also sick
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Watery diarrhea
  • Fever

 

 

1. Prevent Dehydration

  • Give a child an oral rehydration solution. Call your health care provider for age-appropriate dosing specifics.
  • Give an adult as much clear fluid as possible.
  • The person should drink fluids slowly in frequent, small amounts. Drinking too much too fast can worsen nausea.

2. When to Call a Doctor

Seek medical help if:

  • Vomiting in an adult or a child age 2 or older lasts more than 1 day or a fever or severe diarrhea (large amounts of loose stool every 1 to 2 hours) lasts more than 2 days.
  • A child under age 2 has vomiting or diarrhea for more than 12 hours or has a fever with vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Vomit or diarrhea turns bloody or tarry.
  • The person has kidney, liver, or heart disease and must restrict fluid intake.
  • The person develops sudden, severe abdominal pain.
  • Dehydration symptoms develop.
  • Symptoms fail to resolve after a week.

3. Follow Up

  • Gradually ease food back into the person's diet.
  • Start with bland, easy-to-digest food such as crackers, bananas, toast, rice, and chicken.
  • Avoid dairy, caffeine, and alcohol until recovery is complete.
  • If medical treatment is necessary, the person may receive fluids intravenously and anti-nausea medications.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on October 12, 2013

First Aid A-Z

  • There are no topics that begin with 'O'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'Q'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'U'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'X'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'Y'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'Z'

Today on WebMD

Antibiotic on hand
Slideshow
3d scan of fractured skull
Slideshow
 
Father putting ointment on boy's face
Slideshow
Person taking food from oven
Q&A
 
sniffling child
Slideshow
wound care true or false
Slideshow
 
caring for wounds
Slideshow
Harvest mite
Slideshow
 

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

WebMD the app

Get first aid information. Whenever. Wherever... with your iPhone, iPad or Android.

Find Out More