Vomiting children can cause alarm for many parents, but there’s usually no reason to panic. Many different factors can contribute to a child throwing up, but the most common reason is gastroenteritis (stomach flu).
Some possible causes of vomiting include:
- Viral infection – most common reason
- Strep infection
- Food poisoning
- Head injury
- Posttussive (vomiting after coughing, sometimes “post-tussive”)
How to Treat Vomiting at Home
When it comes to vomiting, our biggest concern is hydration status. After vomiting, children should wait at least a few hours before trying to keep anything else down. If you try to give anything sooner, it will reflexively be brought up. Another bit of advice we offer for parents of vomiting children is to stay calm: Vomiting is typically very stressful for kids, so gently reassuring your child can lead to a smoother recovery.
Two hours after your child’s last episode of vomiting, you can start them with a teaspoon of liquid (water, ice chips or G2 drink) every 15 minutes for an hour, and can then go to 2 teaspoons every 15 minutes for an hour. If this is tolerated well, with no further vomiting, you can return your child to a normal drinking pattern.
However, if your baby or child is having a hard time swallowing liquids, we suggest you try offering them liquids in frozen forms, such as juice bars or ice chips. The most important part is to keep them hydrated because younger children’s bodies don’t conserve water as well as older children and adults. Pedialyte and Pediatric Oral Electrolyte Solution are good for rehydrating your baby or child after vomiting.
If at any time your child appears listless or is too sick to tolerate drinking by mouth, they should be taken to an emergency room.
****The information provided here is intended only as a supplement to the advice and information provided by our physicians and nurses during direct patient interactions at Health Care for Children. This information should never take the place of an actual physical examination. Call us today to schedule an appointment or to discuss your concerns with our nursing staff directly.****
Call us at any time to discuss your child’s symptoms or to review oral rehydration guidelines specific to your child.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call our Northland practice at (816) 792-1170.
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Visit Healthy Children.org to find out more information.