Children are particularly at risk to contracting foodborne illnesses because their developing bodies are often not strong enough to combat foodborne bacteria. Their immune systems are also still developing and not capable of fighting the bacteria.
An outbreak in Illinois last month resulted in children from 5 different schools outside of Chicago getting sick from ingesting Salmonella contaminated school lunches. The infection was so serious that it resulted in the hospitalization of one of the students. And although health officials were not able to narrow down the source of the contamination, it is believed that the worse is over and parents have nothing to fear.
Not only are kids more susceptible to contracting foodborne illnesses but the symptoms can affect them more seriously than they do adults. Parents should be aware of this and so should anyone preparing food for children.
Children who suffer from a salmonella infection will demonstrate nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea (sometimes bloody), fever and a headache. Occasionally children may have to be admitted into hospital for very severe cases of diarrhea which may result in dehydration. It is important that parents keep kids well hydrated during this time and doctors suggest not giving them medication to stop the diarrhea as this may prolong the infection.