Gastroenteritis advice warns against fruit juice

GPs should discourage consumption of fruit juices and carbonated drinks among young children with gastroenteritis, according to latest NICE guidance.

Currently, between 10 to 20 per cent of children under the age of five in England present with symptoms of gastroenteritis each year.

The NICE guidance, published this week, is designed to help GPs on key issues such as fluid intake, nutritional management and the prevention and management of dehydration.

The guidance calls for GPs to offer oral rehydration salt solution to those at risk of dehydration. A total of 50ml/kg should be given for fluid deficit replacement over four hours as well as maintenance fluid.

NICE also recommends the use of IV fluid therapy for clinical dehydration if the child persistently vomits the rehydration salt solution.

Elsewhere, the guidance stresses the importance of regular hand washing before preparing, serving or eating food to prevent the spread of gastroenteritis.

Dr Alastair Hay, a GP in Bristol and a member of the guideline development group, said: 'This guidance will help doctors and nurses to empower patients by giving them the information they need to optimise the care of their children.'

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

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