Many things can make kids throw up, such as motion sickness, illness or even stress. Most of the time however, vomiting is caused by gastroenteritis, an infection of the digestive tract.
What is gastroenteritis?
Gastroenteritis is commonly also known as “stomach” flu. It happens when your child’s stomach and intestines are irritated and inflamed. The cause is typically a viral or bacterial infection.
The infection usually does not last long and is not dangerous. If however children cannot take in enough fluids or also have diarrhea, they can become dehydrated, which can lead to more serious health problems.
Remedies for gastroenteritis
First make sure your child is feeling safe, as vomiting can frighten children of all ages. Then ensure that your child is getting enough to drink. Giving children the right fluids at the right time, a process that is also called “oral rehydration,” is the best way to help prevent dehydration.
Drinking water is important
When children lose a lot of water through vomiting or diarrhea, it’s important to replace the lost fluids as fast as possible. Ideally the child is drinking many small amounts of water or electrolyte solutions. Electrolytes, which are usually mixed with drinking water, contain minerals and other nutrients that are lost to vomiting. If you don’t have electrolytes at home, you can buy them in most supermarkets or mix water with some fruit juice.
For children below 12 month of age, check with your doctor or pharmacist before providing electrolytes. Especially young infants below 6 month of age, should only be fed mothers milk or infant formula.
Signs the vomiting is more serious:
- Your child is heavily vomiting and won’t stop
- Vomiting with fever
- Vomiting with colours of green yellow-green or brown liquid
- Vomiting blood
- Your child’s stomach is usually hard and bloated
- Your child is vomiting always at the same time of the day, say every morning before breakfast
If you see any such symptoms, contact your doctor or go to the hospital.
Don’t use any medications
Over-the-counter medicines to treat nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are not recommended for babies and children, unless your doctor has prescribed them specially for your child.