News & Announcements
People at Risk: Children Under Five
09 September 2021
Children younger than five years are at an increased risk for foodborne illness and related health complications because their immune systems are still developing. Young children with developing immune systems cannot fight off infections as well as adults can. In addition, young children produce less stomach acid that kills harmful bacteria, making it easier for them to get sick.

Food poisoning can be particularly dangerous for young children because food poisoning often causes vomiting or diarrhea or both. Since children's bodies are small, they can quickly lose a lot of body fluid causing dehydration.

Food safety for young children depends on the food safety behaviors of their parents and caregivers. Handwashing is especially important, by children and those caring for them.

In children under 5 years old, E. coli infections are more likely to lead to hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a severe complication that can cause chronic kidney disease, kidney failure and death. Symptoms of HUS are urinating less often, feeling very tired, and losing pink color in cheeks and inside the lower eyelids. These new symptoms usually develop after about a week of E. coli illness, when the diarrhea is improving.

Choose and Prepare Safe Food...