Most instances of vomiting and diarrhea in infants and children are caused by the presence of other viruses, such as strep throat, ear infections, or respiratory/sinus infections. Vomiting and diarrhea are usually short lived and will go away on their own. While you are waiting them out, it is best to try to keep your child well hydrated and comfortable. Below, find a few tips on how to most effectively treat vomiting and diarrhea and keep your child as comfortable as possible under these difficult circumstances.
Causes of Vomiting
Vomiting can be caused by a number of things. Typically, vomiting in children is caused by gastroenteritis, also known as the “stomach flu”, which is usually due to a virus infecting the gastrointestinal tract.
Treatment for Vomiting
- If your child who is retching or heaving should NOT be given food or drink, as this will merely prolong vomiting. It is best to wait until the stomach is completely empty and there have been no vomiting or retching for at least an hour or two.
- Since weakness and low blood sugar are typically the cause of nausea, try to raise your child’s blood sugar. For infants and younger children under 12 months, try Pedialyte. For older children, try something with sugar that can be absorbed through the inside of the cheek, such as a lollipop or hard candy. Additionally, canned fruit syrup and jelly do not require much to be sitting in the stomach and will raise the blood sugar.
- After blood sugar has been raised, offer small amounts of a clear, sugary fluid to be gradually absorbed by the stomach, such as: flat, clear, decaffeinated soda, white grape juice, ice pops, ice, or decaffeinated, sweetened iced tea. Even if your child is very thirsty, go slowly with these fluids as to avoid further nausea.
Contact your doctor if your child has any of the following symptoms:
- A severe or prolonged episode of vomiting
- Fever of 102°F or higher
- Repeated vomiting
- Refusal to drink fluids
- Severe abdominal pain
- Dry or sticky mouth
- Drying of the insides of the eyes and mouth
- Lack of tear production or sunken soft spots in infants
- Little or no urine output in a six to eight hour period