Children can undergo various health issues and out of them vomiting is the common symptoms. The vomiting in children is caused by gastroenteritis,(an infection of the digestive tract and often called as the “stomach flu,”).
This is usually is caused by common viruses that we come into contact with every day.
The other symptoms of the gastroenteritis can be nausea, belly pain, and diarrhea. The parent has to look for these other signs if they coincide along with vomiting.
Usually Gastroenteritis infections don’t last long. in most cases it can be more disruptive than dangerous. But kids (especially infants) who cannot take in enough fluids and also have diarrhea could become dehydrated (lose nutrients and water), leading to further illness.
yes, vomiting is quite frightening for both parent and child but Reassuring your child and preventing dehydration are key for a quick recovery.
Vomiting can cause the effected kids to lose fluids, salts, and minerals, so it’s important to make sure these are replaced immediately as possible.
Mild: 1 – 2 times/day
Moderate: 3 – 7 times/day
Severe: Vomits everything, nearly everything or 8 or more times per day
Severity relates even more to how long the vomiting goes on for. At the start of the illness, it’s common to vomit everything. This can last for 3 or 4 hours. Children then often become stable and change to mild vomiting.
The main risk of vomiting is dehydration. Dehydration means the body has lost too much fluid.
Watery stools with vomiting in baby with fever carry the greatest risk for causing dehydration.
The younger the child, the greater the risk for dehydration.
Causes of vomiting in children:
There are a number of possible causes that can lead vomiting in children, which are described below.
is an infection of the gut or digestive tract. It’s one of the common cause of vomiting in children and usually lasts a few days.
Few Food allergies can also cause vomiting in children, and they also show various other symptoms, such as the raised, red, itchy skin rash (urticaria) and swelling of the face, around the eyes, lips, tongue or the roof of the mouth. This can be one cause of vomiting in toddlers without fever,
apart from gastroenteritis , there are other infections that can cause vomiting such as urinary tract infections (UTIs), middle ear infections, pneumonia or meningitis.
Appendicitis is a painful swelling of the appendix, a finger-like pouch connected to the large intestine. It causes severe tummy pain that gets worse over time.
child would experience tummy pain that’s gradually getting worse.
In most cases of appendicitis, the appendix will need to be surgically removed as soon as possible.
This is not some thin uncommon especially to kids. Accidentally swallowing something poisonous can cause your child to vomit.
Causes of vomiting in babies
This is mostly due to a food allergy or milk intolerance. This can be cause of vomiting in babies after breast feeding.
where stomach contents escape back up the mouth through the food pipe.
Too big a hole in the bottle teat, which causes your baby to swallow too much milk
Congenital pyloric stenosis
This condition present at birth where the passage from the stomach to the bowel has narrowed, so food is unable to pass through easily; and this causes projectile vomiting
your baby will vomit frequently and cry as if they are in a lot of pain; this should be treated as a medical emergency
(where the bowel telescopes in on itself) as well as vomiting, your baby may look pale, floppy and have symptoms of dehydration (source)
The first goal is to determine whether children are dehydrated and whether the vomiting is caused by a life-threatening disorder.
The following symptoms and characteristics are cause for concern:
- Abdominal pain, swelling, or both
- Lethargy and listlessness
- Persistent vomiting in infants who have not been growing or developing as expected
- In older children, a severe headache, stiff neck that makes lowering the chin to the chest difficult, sensitivity to light, and fever
- In infants, incontestability or irritability and bulging of the soft spots (fontanelles) between the skull bones
Giving kids the right fluids at the right time (called “oral re-hydration”) is the best way to help prevent dehydration or treat mild fluid loss.
When Should I Call the Doctor?
If your child refuses fluids or if the vomiting continues and started to intensify after you try the suggested re-hydration tips, then contact doctor if you find any of the signs of dehydration below.
- fussy behavior
- dry lips
- fewer than four wet diapers per day in a baby (more than 4–6 hours without a wet diaper in babies under 6 months of age)
- soft spot on an infant’s head that looks flatter than usual or somewhat sunken
- appears weak or limp
- not waking up for feedings
- few or no tears when crying
In kids and teens:
- no peeing for 6–8 hours
- dry mouth (might look “sticky” inside), cracked lips
- sunken eyes
- fast or weakened pulse
- dry, wrinkled, or doughy skin (especially on the belly and upper arms and legs)
- inactivity or decreased alertness
- excessive sleepiness or disorientation
- deep, rapid breathing
a sign of an illness more severe than gastroenteritis:
- if your infant is under 2 months old and vomiting (not just spitting up)
projectile or forceful vomiting in an infant, particularly a baby who’s younger than 3 months old
- vomiting after your baby has taken an oral electrolyte solution for close to 24 hours
pain with peeing, blood in the pee, or back pain
headache or stiff neck
- vomiting accompanied by fever (100.4°F/38°C rectally in an infant younger than 6 months old or more than 101–102°F/38.3–38.9°C in an older child)
- vomiting of bright green or yellow-green fluid, blood, or brownish vomit resembling coffee grounds (which can be a sign of blood mixing with stomach acid)
your child’s belly feels hard, bloated, and painful between vomiting episodes
- vomiting that starts again as soon as you try to resume your child’s normal diet
- vomiting that starts after a head injury
- very bad stomach pain
- swelling, redness, or pain in a boy’s scrotum (source)
What Is Oral Re-hydration?
When body fluids are lost through vomiting or diarrhea, it’s important to replace them as soon as possible.
Replenishing fluids can be done by drinking small amounts of liquid often to replace water and nutrients that have been lost.
The best liquids for this are oral rehydration solutions — often called oral electrolyte solutions or oral electrolyte maintenance solutions.
They have the right balance of fluids and minerals to replace those lost to vomiting and help kids stay hydrated.
The ORHS can be available at supermarkets or drugstores. If you think your child is at risk for dehydration, call your doctor immediately.
He or she might have specific oral re-hydration instructions and can advise you on which solution is best for your child.
Re-hydration Tips: Babies (Birth to 12 Months)
Do not give any plain water to an infant unless your doctor tells you to and specifies an amount. Plain water by itself can disrupt the balance of nutrients in your baby’s blood.
If your baby is younger than 2 months old and vomits all , call your doctor right away.
For Breastfed Babies
If your infant is exclusively breastfeeding and vomits more than once, breastfeed for shorter periods of time (about 5 to 10 minutes at a time) every 2 hours. Increase the amount of time your baby feeds as he or she is able to tolerate it
If your baby is still vomiting on this schedule, call your doctor. After about 8 hours without vomiting, you can go back to your normal breastfeeding schedule.
For Formula-fed Babies
Offer small but frequent amounts — about 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) — of an unflavored oral electrolyte solution every 15–20 minutes with a spoon or an oral syringe. Check with your doctor about which type of solution is best.
A baby over 6 months old may not like the taste of a plain oral electrolyte solution. You can buy flavored solutions, or (only for babies over 6 months) you can add ½ teaspoon (about 3 milliliters) of juice to each feeding of unflavored oral electrolyte solution.
Sometimes very thirsty babies will try to drink a lot of liquid quickly but can’t tolerate it. Do not give more solution than your baby would normally drink in a sitting — this will overfill an already irritated tummy and likely cause more vomiting.
After your baby goes for more than about 8 hours without vomiting, restart formula slowly. Start with small, frequent feedings of half an ounce to 1 ounce, or about 20–30 milliliters.
Slowly work up to the normal feeding routine. If your infant already eats solids, it’s OK to start solid feedings in small amounts again. If your baby doesn’t vomit for 24 hours, you can return to your normal feeding routine.
Re-hydration Tips: Kids & Teens (Ages 1+)
Give clear liquids (avoid milk and milk products) in small amounts every 15 minutes. The amount you give at one time can range from 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) to 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters or 1 ounce), depending on the age of your child and how much your child can take without vomiting.
There are many good choices for clear liquids, including:
- ice chips or sips of water
- flavored oral electrolyte solutions, or add ½ teaspoon (about 3 milliliters) of fruit juice (like orange, apple, pear, or grape juice) to unflavored oral electrolyte solution
- frozen oral electrolyte solution Popsicle
- gelatin desserts
If your child vomits, start over with a smaller amount of fluid (2 teaspoons, or about 10 milliliters) and continue as above.
Make sure to avoid straight juices and sodas, both of which could make things worse. Kids may ask for commercial sports drinks, but be careful with these — they have a lot of sugar and could make things worse.
After no vomiting for about 8 hours, introduce solid foods slowly. But do not force any foods. Your child will tell you when he or she is hungry. Your child might want bland foods — saltine crackers, toast, mashed potatoes, mild soups — to start out with.
If there’s no vomiting for 24 hours, slowly return to your child’s regular diet
The BRAT diet stands for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast. This is recommended for children with an upset stomach. This diet will help your stomach to give rest and reduce the amount of stool production.
Apart from the BRAT DIET, few other bland foods include:
apple juice or flat soda
cooked cereals, like oatmeal or cream of wheat
Things to remember
- Mild vomiting is normal in most babies and improves over time.
- Changing feeding and sleeping positions may help
- Medicine should not be given unless prescribed by your doctor.
If your child seems unwell or shows any worrying symptoms, see a doctor.
Most babies need only simple treatment, or none at all.
Give a child who is unsettled after vomiting a drink or a little food.
Educate parents to stay calm.
Vomiting can be frightening for children and parents but immediate precautions can prevent consequences.
Children will become exhausted due to fluid loss from the body so give rest along with replacing the fluids lost is extremely important.
Reassure parents that their child will most likely feel better within 24 hours.
Educate parents to wash their hands frequently with soap and water to avoid contracting the infection from their children.
It can be challenging for parents to care for their children when they are sick themselves.
Prevent dehydration through oral re-hydration therapy (ORT).
Sports drinks, sodas, and juices should be avoided in children since they contain inadequate sodium and too large a quantity of carbohydrates.
After the child vomits, parents should wait about 30 minutes for the stomach to settle before initiating ORT.
Recommend an ORT solution such as Pediatric, which is available over-the-counter. The estimated electrolyte requirements are based on weight
Keep children off of solid foods for 24 hours after vomiting.
Solid foods should be avoided for about 24 hours. The BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast) is an effective way to reintroduce food after vomiting. (source)
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