Keeping Kids Healthy Advice
Vomiting often accompanies many childhood illnesses and even though this type of illness may be a difficult experience for both you and your child, they usually pass quickly without treatment. Vomiting may occur due to overeating, too much sun, too much excitement, motion sickness, migraines or nervousness. Most commonly, vomiting is caused by common viruses that infect the gastrointestinal tract. This type of illness is referred to as gastroenteritis, and is often accompanied by diarrhea.
Vomiting is an involuntary action that occurs when abdominal muscles and the diaphragm strongly contract while the stomach is relaxed. The contractions cause the contents of the stomach to empty. There is no safe and effective medication or suppository to stop vomiting in children.
In most cases, illnesses that cause vomiting do not last very long and are more disruptive to your family’s routine than dangerous to your child’s health. However, it is important to make sure that your child does not become dehydrated. Signs of dehydration are decrease in urination, dry mouth, fast heartbeat, thirst, sunken eyes, no tears when crying, sunken soft spot in babies under 18 months, and irritability.
If your child is under on year old, call your pediatrician if you think your baby is dehydrated. To prevent dehydration in children over one year old, give small amounts of clear fluids for eight hours after the onset of vomiting. Wait about 30 minutes after your child vomits before you offer water, popsicles, sports drinks, or clear broths to prevent dehydration. Fluids with high sugar or salt contents should be given sparingly because sugar and salt can draw fluid from the body’s cells and dehydrate your child even more. Remember to give small amounts because too much liquid can cause your child to vomit more.
Add solid, but bland foods, such as dry crackers or toast, rice, yogurt, or bananas after 8-12 hours after your child has stopped vomiting. Your child may not have his or her appetite back and this is okay, but encourage him or her to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
Call your pediatrician if your child:
Has a chronic disease and is unable to keep his or her medication down
Has continued to vomit for more than twenty-four hours
Has signs or symptoms of dehydration
Is younger than 6 months old
Has fever above 101.4°F and is vomiting
Is younger than three months and is vomiting with fever
Vomiting due to possible poisoning
Vomits blood, bile (green-colored liquid), or a substance that looks like coffee grounds
Vomiting accompanied by headache and stiff neck
Has severe and constant abdominal pain, especially pain on the right side of the upper body
Vomited more than three times after a head injury
Has a swollen abdomen
Is lethargic, dizzy, has a rapid pulse and cool, clammy skin