Search icon

Children's health

25th Jun 2024

Doctor warns of ‘brutal’ gastroenteritis doing the rounds – here’s what you need to know

Sophie Collins


Irish Paediatrician Dr. Niamh has taken to TikTok to warn parents about a severe gastroenteritis outbreak affecting children

“There’s an absolutely brutal gastroenteritis doing the rounds and it’s making children as sick as a small hospital,” she said. 

Here’s what you need to know to protect your family and manage the illness if it strikes your household.

Preventing Dehydration

Dehydration is a major concern with gastroenteritis. Dr. Niamh advises offering small sips of liquid frequently.

“Ideally, use an electrolyte solution like Dioralyte, but studies suggest that half-strength apple juice, which is half a glass of juice and half a glass of water, is also effective.” 

If your child refuses to drink, try turning the solution into ice lollies. This creative method can make hydration more appealing to children.

Recognising When to Seek Medical Attention

It’s crucial to know when gastroenteritis symptoms require medical attention. Dr. Niamh outlines several red flags:

  • A very tender tummy associated with a fever
  • Blood in the stools
  • Vomiting consistently for 12 hours
  • Inability to keep anything down
  • Not passing urine for 12 hours or more

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s time to seek professional medical help immediately.

Preventing the Spread

Hand hygiene is vital in preventing the spread of gastroenteritis within your household.

“If gastroenteritis comes into your house, hand hygiene is of supreme importance to stop it spreading all through the house,” Dr. Niamh stresses. 

Ensure everyone in your family washes their hands thoroughly and frequently.

Be Prepared

To be ready for a potential gastroenteritis outbreak in your home, Dr. Niamh suggests stocking up on necessary supplies. 

“Go off out and buy that Dioralyte or that apple juice,” she advises. With these preparations, you can better manage the illness if it strikes.

Dr. Niamh’s final advice encapsulates the situation well: “May the force be with you because it ain’t a nice one.” 

With these tips, parents can be better prepared to handle gastroenteritis and ensure their children stay as comfortable and hydrated as possible during this challenging time.


be ready for when this tummy bug strikes your kids! (educational content only, does not replace doctor review)

♬ original sound – Dr Niamh