Food Poisoning: Classic Symptoms of Food Poisoning: Food poisoning is widespread in both children and adults, but many parents have difficulty discerning when children have eaten contaminated food or have symptoms of stomach viruses. Given that experts estimate that about 76 million cases of food poisoning occur annually in the United States, it benefits parents to know the symptoms of the disease in children.
Symptoms of Food Poisoning
Common symptoms of include:
- abdominal cramps
Of course, different things besides food poisoning can cause those same symptoms, making it difficult to diagnose food poisoning. For example, children may develop diarrhea and nausea with a viral infection, such as rotavirus, or after getting a Salmonella infection from living with a turtle.
You should avoid suspicious food poisoning if other people get sick simultaneously and after eating the same foods. Since several infections that cause diarrhea are contagious, just because everyone in the home has diarrhea and vomiting doesn’t mean everyone has food poisoning. However, it is more likely if everyone develops symptoms on the same night following, for example, a family picnic.
Classic Symptoms of Food Poisoning
It is essential to note that many different bacteria, viruses, and toxins can cause food poisoning.
Although most cause diarrhea and vomiting, they have some characteristic symptoms that can help identify what may be causing your illness.
Staphylococcus aureus food poisoning can occur when your child eats food contaminated with an enterotoxin (usually food absent at room temperature for a long time), which causes symptoms quickly (between two and seven hours), including vomiting, watery diarrhea, and without fever or low-grade fever.
Fortunately, the symptoms typically go away as quickly as they arrive, within 12 to 24 hours.
The poisoning of salmonella is well known. Symptoms of salmonella usually begin six to 72 hours after exposure to this bacterium and include watery diarrhea, fever, cramps in abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Symptoms typically last four to seven days and frequently go away without treatment. Shigella
Shigella is another bacterium that can source bloody diarrhea, in addition to stomach cramps and high fever. Children can grow a Shigella infection (Shigellosis) about a day or two after eating foods that have been contaminated with Shigella bacteria, such as potato salad, milk, chicken, and raw vegetables.
Unlike most other causes of food poisoning, jellyfish can be treated with antibiotics, although a maximum of these infections goes away on their own in five to seven days.
Campylobacter is often associated with eating at least boiled and drinking raw milk, and symptoms develop two to five days after exposure. Signs may contain watery diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, nausea, muscle aches, and headaches. Although symptoms typically go away in seven to 10 days on their own, treatment with the antibiotic erythromycin reduces the time people are contagious.
Food poisoning by Clostridium perfringens is another bacterium that produces a toxin in food. Symptoms begin between eight and 22 hours after eating contaminated food, especially meats and sauces that are not adequately prepared or stored, including watery diarrhea and severe abdominal cramps, lasting for about 24 hours.
Botulism of Clostridium botulinum produces spores and toxins that can contaminate vegetables and other foods stored and preserved at home, honey (so kids should not eat honey), and other foods. In addition to nausea, sickness, and abdominal cramps, children with botulism may have neurological symptoms, such as double vision, affected speech, swallowing, and muscle weakness.
Babies can have weakness, constipation, and poor nutrition. In both children and older children, muscle weakness can even affect their ability to breathe.
Hepatitis A is a virus-related cause. Unlike most other causes are, it is the only one for which there is a vaccine (children start from 12 months) that they can avoid. Children can develop symptoms of Hepatitis A between 10 and 50 days after eating contaminated water, vegetables, seafood, and contaminated food by restaurant workers.
Bacillus cereus poisoning leads to watery diarrhea and abdominal cramps between six and 15 hours after eating contaminated foods, including meats, fish, vegetables, and milk. Contaminated rice usually causes nausea and vomiting, but not diarrhea. With any symptoms, they typically go away in about 24 hours without treatment.
Norwalk virus is an additional virus that can cause food poisoning and regularly associated with cruise ships. Children can develop food poisoning from the Norwalk virus after drinking contaminated water or eating contaminated, including seafood, salad ingredients, raw plums, raw oysters, and other contaminated by sick restaurant workers.
In addition to seeing for classic symptoms, your pediatrician will be able to diagnose this type of food poisoning with specific tests. They usually include stool cultures and other stool assessments.