Child Vomiting: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

By Medically reviewed by Dr. Duyen Le

In most cases, vomiting is not a dangerous condition. It can go away by itself without medication. However, nothing makes it more frustrating and disturbing than a vomiting child. To protect your kids against this troublesome condition, it is important for you and your partner to understand how to treat and prevent vomiting properly.

Causes of vomiting

Although vomiting can be the symptom of many different health problems, some of its most common reasons are:

– Viral gastroenteritis, as known as “stomach flu”, is an abdominal infection caused by rotavirus or bacteria found in contaminated food. Gastroenteritis normally comes with diarrhea, light fever, and loss of appetite. The infection can last from a few days to more than a week.
– Travel sickness, or motion sickness, is a mild-to-severe physical discomfort which mostly occurs in those who have little or no experience in traveling. Therefore, most children are susceptible to it. It happens when your balance-sensing system is aware that your body is being in motion while the other parts of your body fail to notice the change. This results in your brain receiving mixed signals.
– Digestive issues such as lactose intolerance, food allergy or Celiac disease (gluten intolerance). It can also be that your kid is too full from the food and drink they have consumed earlier.
Food poisoning: Symptoms of food poisoning are similar but relatively more intense than that of viral gastroenteritis. The severity of the condition depends on the quantity and quality of the germs, viruses, parasites, and chemicals your kid has previously consumed in the contaminated food.

Some other less common reasons for child’s vomiting include:

– Head injury
Migraine headache
– Infections of lungs, ears, stomach, and urinary tract

Treatment and prevention

It is of top priority to keep your kid well hydrated after vomiting. However, you should only give them small sips of water and don’t force them to take in too much fluid in 1 go. For better results, offer oral rehydration solution or natural anti-vomiting remedies such as ginger or honey tea. Avoid giving them drinks that contain too much sugar.

For breastfeeding infants, cut down the length of your nursing session and nurse them more frequently.

For older kids, normal foods should slowly be reintroduced again after they have gone through more than 8 hours without vomiting. Avoid giving them sugary or greasy food as it can upset a weak stomach.

If possible, keep your child lying on their side or stomach (for older kids only) to prevent them from breathing in their vomiting again as this can trigger vomiting and slow down their speed of recovery.

You might also want to read:

How to Feed a Sick Baby

Common Eating Disorders in Teens

EPA, DHA, GLA: Must-have Nutrients for Children

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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