When to Call the Doctor for Stomach Flu
If it's your baby's first bout with stomach flu, call the doctor right away. This way she can rule out bacterial infections, which may require treatment with antibiotics. If your doctor suspects that the infection is viral (as most are), she won't prescribe any meds.
The pediatrician will likely ask you about fever. Most docs want to see babies under 3 months with rectal temperatures of 100.4 F. or higher. If your child is between 3 and 6 months, you should alert the doctor if your child has a rectal temperature of 101 F. or higher. If your child is older than 6 months, let the doctor know if your child has a rectal temperature of 103 F. or higher.
The doctor will likely also ask whether your child has any of these signs of dehydration:
- Fewer than 6 wet diapers a day for babies or 8 hours without peeing for older kids
- A sunken soft spot on top of baby's head
- Few or no tears while crying
- Acting unusually sleepy, sluggish, or unresponsive
- Wrinkled skin
- Dry mouth or cracked lips
- Dizziness, headaches, or muscle pain in older kids
- Urine that's dark yellow (instead of light or clear)
- Weight loss
If a child of any age seems severely dehydrated, call the doctor right away. The child may need to go to the hospital to get rehydrated through IV fluids.
You should also let your doctor know if your child has been throwing up for more than two days, has diarrhea for more than four days, or has blood in his stool (which can be a sign of a bacterial infection or other digestive problems).