Symptoms of stomach viruses include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and pain and fever, and usually come and go within 48 hours. Stomach viruses may be caused by contaminated food or water or contact with feces from someone who is infected, such as changing the diaper of an ill infant. Home remedies for treating stomach viruses include comfort measures and preventing the worsening of dehydration that results from the viral attack on the body.
Drinking small sips of water or sucking on chips of ice may help with symptoms of dehydration that result from vomiting and diarrhea.
Clear sodas such as 7-up and other beverages such as chicken broth and non-caffeinated sports drinks may prevent dehydration and restore the balance of salts in the body.
Bland foods such as saltine crackers, dry toast, bananas, rice, and gelatin are easy for the stomach to digest and may help settle the stomach.
Limiting physical activity and not eating for a few hours after an episode of vomiting may help the stomach settle and ease nausea and dizziness that may result from sudden movement.
Children suffering from a stomach virus should be given oral rehydration solutions rather than water to replace electrolytes. According to the Mayo Clinic, breast-feeding infants with stomach viruses should continue nursing on demand.
Frequent hand washing, avoiding cross contamination of raw meats and eggs with other foods, and cooking foods to the proper temperature may reduce the spread of stomach viruses within a household.
According to the Mayo Clinic, apple juice, dairy products, and caffeinated beverages may make diarrhea from stomach viruses worse. Children should not be given aspirin when ill with a stomach virus due to the risk of Reye's syndrome, which can be fatal.