Saturday, 10 August 2013 03:51

Salmonellosis and your Child

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Salmonellosis and your Child






What is Salmonellosis?


Salmonellosis is a form of gastroenteritis caused by the salmonella bacteria. Symptoms include fever, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. The severity of the symptoms depends on the number of bacteria swallowed as well as the person’s age and general health ((National Health and Medical Research Council, 2012). It is reported that 50,000 cases occur in the US each year with children under the age of 4 most at risk.


How does Salmonellosis spread?


Salmonellosis spreads when the bacterium enters the body via the mouth. This can happen when:

  • A child consumes undercooked meat, especially chicken.
  • A child eats cooked food that has been contaminated with bacteria from raw food.
  • When a child handles an infected animal and then doesn’t wash his/her hands afterwards.
  • Peoples hands become contaminated when changing the nappy of an infected child and they do not wash them effectively (National Health and Medical Research Council, 2012).

Incubation Period


The incubation period is usually 12-36 hours (Queensland Health, 2008).


Infectious Period


The infectious period occurs as long as the bacteria can be found in the faeces of the child (National Health and Medical Research Council, 2012).




It is important that child consumes plenty of fluids especially if they have diarrhea. Children tend to recover from salmonellosis within a few days. If you are concerned consult your doctor for treatment. Antibiotics are not usually prescribed for salmonellosis because they can cause the child to become a carrier of the bacteria and remain infectious (National Health and Medical Research Council, 2012). Acetaminophen can also be prescribed to your child to help with the symptoms of fever and cramps.










National Health and Medical Research Council (2012). Staying Healthy: Preventing diseases in early childhood education and care services 5th Edn. NHMRC, Canberra.


Queensland Health (2008). Tool for the development of a food safety program for childcare facilities. Queensland Government, Brisbane.

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