Aaah, winter. There are three sure things at this time of year:
1. You'll have to put up with Christmas tunes in the shops from mid November.
2. You'll need to scrape ice off your car windscreen most mornings.
3. You, or someone in your family, will come a cropper thanks to one of the nasty winter bugs flying around offices, schools and nurseries.
Coughs, colds and sniffles are rife right now, along with that particularly nasty little visitor – Norovirus, also known as the winter vomiting bug in the UK.
But, although it may seem harmless enough, you need to be aware of the risk to your child's health when they can't keep anything down.
Like lots of families, we were recently hit by Norovirus, which is the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis in humans.
First, I was laid low. Then my two-year-old daughter Marianne joined in the fun and started throwing up.
After a couple of days in Vomit Central, I took Marianne to the GP, who advised me to get her to regularly sip Dioralyte - sachets of rehydration salts dissolved in water.
But by the following day – day three of her illness – she was still bringing up everything that she ate or drank. We'd reached a point where she was point blank refusing to drink anything because she knew that it would make her sick.
Instead of her usual bouncy little self, she was lethargic and just wanted to snooze in my arms. Her nappies were dryer than usual, her lips were dry and she seemed to be breathing more quickly too.
So my husband and I took her back to the GP.
At first, we wondered if we were worrying over nothing. After all, this was just a run-of-the-mill winter bug, right?
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