The winter vomiting bug is a virus so there is no cure, it is therefore best to let the illness run its course and your child will fight off the infection within a few days. Your child won’t need to see a doctor.
It’s important that she has plenty to drink and, if you feel it necessary, paracetemol for any fever, aches of pains. .
Try to give your child foods that are easy to digest, such as soup, rice, pasta and bread. Babies should continue with their normal feeds.
To reduce the risk of passing the virus onto others, ensure that your child’s hands are washed regularly and that they are kept at home until they are clear of symptoms for 48 hours.
Drinking plenty of fluids is particularly important for young children and the elderly, as they are more prone to dehydration. They will need urgent medical treatment should any signs of dehydration present themselves.
Children and adults should drink about 1.2 litres (six to eight glasses) of water or fluid every day to prevent dehydration. Someone suffering with norovirus will need to drink more than that in order to replace fluids lost from vomiting and diarrhoea.
Suitable drinks for your child include water, squashes and natural fruit juice. If they are finding it hard to keep down fluids, encourage them to take small sips more frequently to prevent dehydration.
Infants and small children should receive frequent sips of water even if they vomit. A small amount of fluid is better than none. Avoid giving fruit juices and carbonated drinks to children under the age of five, as these can cause diarrhoea to be more severe.
If you are worried that your child may be in danger of becoming dehydrated, your doctor or pharmacist may advise you to give them rehydration drinks.
You can buy sachets of rehydration salts from your pharmacy and add them to water. They provide the correct balance of water, salt and sugar for your body.
Some rehydration drinks are not suitable for children, so always check with your GP or pharmacist before giving them to your child
If your child’s symptoms continue for more than three days or if you suspect they are dehydrated at any time, get medical help immediately.
Advice for parents
Keep your child away from school or nursery for at least 48 hours after their last symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting.
In addition, children should not swim in a swimming pool for two weeks following the last episode of diarrhoea.
Norovirus can be unpleasant to experience, but it's not generally dangerous and most people make a full recovery within a couple of days, without having to visit their GP.