Though the weather may make it seem otherwise, it is technically winter right now. And with the winter season come illnesses such as the cold, the flu, and, perhaps worst of all, the norovirus. A tricky little stomach bug with no known cure, norovirus has been making the rounds across the nation these past few weeks. The virus, easily transmitted among kids and older adults, has even been known to cause school closures, and has many parents worried. However, these known signs of norovirus in toddlers could keep you and your family from falling victim to the bug this cold and flu season — or at least catch it early enough to keep everyone else from getting sick.
While norovirus symptoms can take anywhere from 12 to 24 hours to fully present, once they arrive, there's really no escaping or denying them. The virus often presents with symptoms such as vomiting (hence, why it's known in some spaces as the "winter vomiting bug"), diarrhea, and painful stomach cramps, truly setting itself apart as a miserable disease. While the true root of its cause is contaminated food, and the spreading of those germs, it can be passed between humans fairly easily, especially when someone is in close, constant contact with others, such as in school, or an office.
So, does norovirus present differently in kids, especially toddlers, than it does in adults? As it turns out, it's not too dissimilar.
Whether in children or adults, symptoms of norovirus remain the same: nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhea, and stomach cramps. However, in children, the nausea and vomiting might be more prominent. Now, this definitely isn't a pleasant image, especially to think of it affecting your children. But, there are ways to prevent the virus from hitting your kids, and you.
As always, you should consistently wash your hands. This goes for your kids, too. And if your child or toddler is in school or daycare regularly, make sure you remind them to wash their hands while they're away from home as well.
Importantly, as well, is the fact that you need to remain up to date on the health of other students and kids at school. Because symptoms can take a while to appear after affected, your child could easily come into contact with norovirus at school or daycare without anyone even knowing it, until it's too late.
Make sure that the other parents at your kid's school are aware of what norovirus looks like, and make sure you keep communication open. Norovirus can be prevented, as long as adults and children alike are informed on what it looks like, and where it comes from.