Could your next family outing make your kids sick?
Is your child susceptible to food poisoning this summer? A new study by the University of Michigan found that in a poll they conducted, 10 percent of parents said their kids have gotten sick eating outside the home, especially at restaurants.
“Parents need to be diligent, particularly with children under the age of five,” says Dr. Frank Belmonte, a pediatrician at Advocate Children’s Hospital. “Tis the season, with picnics and street fairs, where heat can set the stage for bacteria in food.”
The survey found sick children had eaten at restaurants, school, friends’ homes or potlucks. While only one in four parents said they pay attention to restaurant health ratings, Dr. Belmonte suggests parents be mindful of hand-washing and cleanliness when choosing a place to eat.
“While most kids recover quickly from food poisoning, others can suffer complications depending upon their metabolism,” says Dr. Belmonte. “While your child can get sick on something, you can eat the same thing and be fine.”
Kids under the age of three can become dehydrated quickly and that poses the biggest risk, he says.
Dr. Belmonte suggests parents consider getting both their child and themselves vaccinated for hepatitis A, which can protect both kids and adults from food borne hepatitis. Talk to your pediatrician about what age the vaccine is most appropriate.
About the Author
Evonne Woloshyn, health enews contributor, is director of public affairs at Advocate Children's Hospital. Evonne began her career as an anchor and reporter in broadcast news. Over the past 20 years, she has worked in health care marketing in both Ohio and Illinois. Evonne loves to travel, spend time with family and is an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan!