February 21, 2020

Vomiting in Children

Vomiting in children is often caused by a virus.  The dreaded stomach virus is usually self limited but can be scary and stressful for both child and parents.  The mainstay of treatment is to help keep your child hydrated.  Often we recommend if vomiting starts to avoid all liquid and food for 30 minutes. Then you can start offering small sips of liquid every few minutes.  We often recommend offering a teaspoon every 5 minutes.  If your child tolerates that after a few rounds then you can offer larger amounts each time.  We generally recommend water, diluted apple juice, or Pedialyte.   If your child vomits we recommend waiting 30 minutes before starting again.  We do not recommend milk or anything heavy during this initial period.  We also do not recommend food for at least the first several hours.  After that time period you can offer some bland bites of food if you child asks but do not be alarmed if they do not want to eat.   It will often take your child several days to return to their baseline appetite.

Hopefully the illness is self limited; however, there are times you should call us:

  • If your child is not able to tolerate and keep down clear liquids
  • Any signs of dehydration
  • Any blood in their stool
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Vomiting lasts more than 24 hours


Other useful tips to help survive the stomach virus can be found at:

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