THE PROPER ENVIRONMENT FOR HEALING
First, the body is made to recover. When it’s ailing, it will focus on making the ailing part(s) well. The less energy diverted to other areas, the more energy is available for this job. REST is of major importance. Create a quiet spot away from the central location of the home, where your ‘sickie’ can stay. Be firm. Supply lots of books, magazines, puzzles and even TV…calm entertainment. Be sure there are plenty of blankets, and if vomiting is an issue, a pail kept bedside, with a vinyl drop cloth is very helpful. Clean it, (contents into toilet and clean toilet, too), every time it’s used. This is a time when I still see bleach as a true friend. Disinfectant spray will help deter the spread of germs. Many advocate the use of collodial silver hand sanitizers during this time. Be sure to wash all bedding and spray down the room after your ‘sickie’ recovers.
HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE
The body is trying valiantly to rid itself of the virus. Help it by offering liquids. Water is best. Sucking on ice may be all the child can handle. Stay away from sugary drinks and carbonation. Dehydration is a serious matter in the case of stomach viruses, so this is a ‘must do’, but it must be done in small increments, allowing the stomach as much rest as possible. The truth is, if it’s not as rested as it needs to be, it will just surrender what its been given.
By soft music or a wind/water nature recording, by frequent checking, by being there to clean a face with a cool washcloth when the child vomits. Clear the slate of activity, nursing is now first priority. The security and reassurance this kind of care imparts to the patient is like a calming balm. Do not let them feel like they are an inconvenience to your day even if they are. You can crack the whip again after they're well. ;)
DON’T RUSH RECOVERY
The child is able to eat again when feeling physically hungry and the water is staying put. When this happens, graduate to flat ginger-ale. Yes, I know it's sugary, but in this case, I'd prefer a little sugar to even my probiotic soda because of it's minute amount of alcohol. Wait until they can actually eat before re-introducing this into their diet, and even then, I'd go with raw milk, yogurt, or dairy kefir first. Then start slowly with the BRAT diet: Bananas, (white) Rice, Applesauce (baby food type is best), and plain Toast.
Another tried and true food at this stage, if the child will eat it, is ‘milk toast’- toast covered with warm, whole milk and a pat of (real) butter in a bowl. Sprinkle a little sea salt on top to enhance flavor as well as encourage the body to hold on to liquid. Sea salt is also full of necessary trace minerals which the body loses right along with liquid. Sounds strange, but this introduces fats, which carry nutrients on wings to starving body systems. (Yes, we need good fats, people!) The easiest bread to digest is sprouted grain, which can be found at most health food stores and many conventional stores today as well…in the refrigerated section. If your family uses raw milk, or gently pasteurized milk such as that sold by Oberweis, this is a perfect dish to incorporate its use. The enzymes available in these milks will help recreate the proper intestinal flora, intensifying the ability of the gut to heal.
School nurses can give testimony to the fact that most children are rushed into a false recovery. According to these experts, children need to stay on the BRAT diet until they are fully recovered…usually a minimum of three days. One of our grandchildren's nurses tells us that the time to go off the BRAT diet is after the child has had a normal bowel movement while on the BRAT diet. Stand firm. In this day of nuggets, fries, fast foods and fast living, rushing recovery has become the norm, but what we are really doing is prolonging sickness or creating an internal environment conducive to recurrence.
When the child is fully recovered, consider prevention via organic and natural pre- and probiotics every day. Type 'probiotics', 'kombucha', 'raw milk', 'real milk', 'enzymes', 'probiotics' or 'prebiotics' into the search bar to learn more.