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Sickness & diarrhoea

Gastroenteritis is inflammation of the intestinal tract which usually results in diarrhoea. Being sick or vomiting is another common symptom.

The most common organisms which cause gastroenteritis are viruses. Children are particularly susceptible to these infections and almost every child will have had rotavirus, the most common cause, by the age of five.

Gastroenteritis is usually highly infectious. It can be passed very easily from person to person and particularly in environments such as nursery where children are in close contact.

Symptoms

In addition to diarrhoea and vomiting, children affected by gastroenteritis may also have stomach cramps, headaches, aching arms and legs or high temperatures.

Symptoms may last as little as 24 hours or as much as seven days. Most people make a full recovery in 2-3 days.

Exclusion period

48 hours after last symptoms.

Read more about this illness at the NHS website.