Pediatric Gastroenteritis

Pediatric Gastroenteritis



Gastroenteritis is an infection that can cause a variety of digestive issues, including diarrhea, stomach cramping and vomiting.

Expanded overview

Gastroenteritis is typically a short-term (acute) illness that is triggered by infection and inflammation of the digestive system. If a child is generally healthy, they should recover fairly easily. However, if a child has a compromised (weakened) immune system, recovery from gastroenteritis may take longer.


The main types of gastroenteritis include:

  • Bacterial – this type is caused by bacteria
  • Parasitic – this type is caused by a parasite
  • Viral – also known as the stomach flu, this type is caused by a virus


Gastroenteritis has a variety of potential causes, including:

  • Bacteria – spread through ingesting harmful bacteria, such as by consuming contaminated food or drink
  • Parasite – spread through ingesting a parasite, such as by drinking contaminated water
  • Virus – spread through coming into close contact with an infected person, including  bodily fluids like saliva


Signs and symptoms of gastroenteritis can include:

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