Salmonella In Kids: Signs, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

One particular form of Salmonella causes typhoid fever and is found in birds, cows, pigs, turtles, lizards, and reptiles. The second type is associated with salmonella typhi, which occurs in humans less frequently. In this article on, we will tell you about salmonella in kids: Signs, symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment. Let’s start!

As a result of eating food or drinking water infected with salmonella or the salmonella virus, kids may experience mild gastroenteritis or even life-threatening diarrhea. Salmonella infection usually occurs in young kids.

Read this article to understand salmonellosis symptoms, causes, risks, complications, treatment, and prevention. This post details the common and uncommon causes, complications, treatment, and prevention of salmonella infections in kids.

The Salmonella Infection in kids: What Is it?

Foodborne illnesses caused by Salmonella bacteria (or salmonellosis) are called salmonellosis. These illnesses are typically spread by ingesting contaminated food such as meat, poultry, eggs, or milk.

Salmonella Infection in Kids: Symptoms And Signs

Salmonella Infection in Kids: Symptoms And Signs
Normally kids who fight with salmonella infection have symptoms: Diarrhea, Nausea, Fever, and vomiting…

It is usually within six hours or several weeks after a child contracts salmonella that they begin to experience any symptoms or signs of salmonella infection. The following may be the most common symptoms and signs during a salmonella infection:

In most cases, salmonellosis resolves within two to seven days. While the rest of the symptoms usually clear within that short time period, bacteria that spread to other parts of the body may not leave as quickly.

What Are the Causes Of Salmonella Infection in Kids?

A Salmonella infection in humans can cause gastroenteritis or enteric fever (typhoid fever). Most nontyphoidal salmonellas mainly cause gastroenteritis. Salmonella typhi can also cause enteric fever.

There are several ways in which a child can get salmonella, such as:

  • Unpasteurized raw eggs may be found in homemade mayonnaise, hollandaise sauce, and homemade mayo. While eggshells provide some protection, infected chickens may produce salmonella-containing eggs even before the shell forms.
  • A salmonella outbreak can occur with seafood harvested from water contaminated with radiation.
  • However, poultry and meat can be contaminated with feces after being butchered.
  • Fruits and vegetables can be contaminated by water in the field or while they are being washed.
  • A contaminated cutting board, knife, and utensils could cross-contaminate uncooked or cooked foods, vegetables, and salads.
  • The fecal-oral route serves as a transmission route from one person to another, especially if hands were not washed after using the toilet by those who are infected. (1)

FDA reports cases of salmonellosis in foods and food manufacturing that are contaminated with salmonella. Any food or food product can become contaminated with salmonella when safety measures are not followed during its production.

Risk Factors Of Salmonella In Kids

Kids may develop salmonellosis if they are exposed to the following factors:

  • Being in a place with poor sanitation
  • Keeping birds or reptiles as pets
  • Damaged intestinal lining causes inflammatory bowel disorders, which favor bacteria growth
  • Recently prescribed antibiotics can alter intestinal flora, making it harder to combat salmonella.
  • A low stomach acidity levels can allow salmonella to survive when excessive antacid use is taken
  • AIDS, corticosteroids, antirejection drug treatments after transplant, and sickle cell disease can lower immunity

Salmonella can grow out of control in the digestive tract if the body’s defense system is compromised, which can lead to more severe cases of salmonellosis in children than in other children.


A child’s immune system may be compromised when they are young or when they have a weakened immune system.

  • Bacteremia
  • Meningitis
  • Dehydration
  • Endocarditis
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Activating arthritis or Reiter syndrome

Symptoms of typhoidal infection include intestinal bleeding, perforation, and neurological problems. Nontyphoidal salmonellosis occurs more commonly in the context of dehydration. (2)

What Is The Best Time To See A Doctor?

You should seek immediate medical care if your child is experiencing salmonellosis symptoms. (3)

  • Signs of dehydration, including increased thirst, dry mouth, dizziness, and reduced urine
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • More than two days of severe diarrhea
  • Unconsciousness
  • Lethargy

Diagnosis Of Salmonella Infection In Kids

Kids with fever and gastrointestinal symptoms may have a salmonella infection. Doctors may use stool samples for laboratory analysis to identify salmonella. Multiple samples are often analyzed. Blood tests can also be ordered.

Salmonella Infection Treatment

Some children get better without pharmaceutical solutions, but they still need to be advised to stay hydrated. Electrolyte solution and hospitalization are recommended to prevent dehydration in severe cases, as well as intravenous fluids. (4)

Despite taking antibiotics as per prescription, some children may develop longer symptoms and the illness will last longer due to the antibiotics. However, the symptoms should go away, and children should take antibiotics regularly to reduce the occurrence of the illness.

Even after the clinical signs have gone away, Salmonella can persist in the body for several weeks.

Since diarrheal medications without a prescription may hinder the elimination of bacteria from the body and prolong illness, it is not advisable to give them without a prescription.

How To Prevent Salmonella Infection In Kids

Infections with Salmonella can be decreased by following the following tips:

  • The following tips can promote good hand hygiene. Washing your hands with soap under running water before eating and after taking a shower may help reduce the transmission of infectious diseases.
  • Before eating, peel or wash fruits and vegetables.
  • Cleaning utensils and cutting boards are best done in hot water and soap.
  • Use bleach to disinfect counters and sinks.
  • Do not consume undercooked or raw meat and poultry.
  • Follow the recommended cooking temperatures for poultry and meat and use a thermometer to know the cooking temperature.
  • Travel to high-risk areas before getting a typhoid vaccine.
  • Do not handle birds, reptiles, pets, or feces without washing your hands.
  • Protect raw meat from cross-contamination with cooked foods and utensils. Store raw meat, poultry, and seafood in a separate refrigerator from other foods.
  • Raw eggs need not be consumed by children. Pasteurized eggs can be consumed by children that want a raw egg.

Some salmonella serotypes are already antibiotic-resistant, which makes it important for kids to receive a full course of antibiotics, even though they do not show any symptoms. Food can be contaminated at processing, handling, or preparation.

You need to make food-safe choices at home to prevent salmonellosis, but it is also crucial to make sure restaurants adhere to food safety guidelines.


1. C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital: Salmonellosis

2. Johns Hopkins Medicine: Salmonella Infections

3. Fairview: Salmonella Infection (Salmonellosis) in Children

4. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Salmonella