- What You Should Know About Vomiting With Diarrhea:
- Most vomiting is caused by a viral infection of the stomach. Sometimes, mild food poisoning is the cause.
- Throwing up is the body's way of protecting the lower intestines.
- Diarrhea is the body's way of getting rid of the germs.
- When vomiting and diarrhea occur together, treat the vomiting. Don't do anything special for the diarrhea.
- The main risk of vomiting is dehydration. Dehydration means the body has lost too much fluid.
- Here is some care advice that should help.
- Formula Fed Babies - Give Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) for 8 Hours:
- If your child vomits more than once, offer ORS for 8 hours. If you don't have ORS, use formula until you can get some.
- ORS is a special fluid that can help your child stay hydrated. You can use Pedialyte or the store brand of ORS. It can be bought in food stores or drug stores.
- Spoon or syringe feed small amounts. Give 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 mL) every 5 minutes.
- After 4 hours without throwing up, double the amount.
- Return to Formula. After 8 hours without throwing up, go back to regular formula.
- Breastfed Babies - Reduce the Amount Per Feeding:
- If vomits more than once, nurse for 5 minutes every 30 to 60 minutes. After 4 hours without throwing up, return to regular nursing.
- If continues to vomit, switch to pumped breastmilk. ORS is rarely needed in breastfed babies. It can be used if vomiting becomes worse.
- Spoon or syringe feed small amounts of pumped milk. Give 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 mL) every 5 minutes.
- After 4 hours without throwing up, return to regular feeding at the breast. Start with small feedings of 5 minutes every 30 minutes. As your baby keeps down the smaller amounts, slowly give more.
- Older Children (over 1 Year Old), Offer Small Amounts of ORS For 8 Hours:
- ORS. Vomiting with watery diarrhea needs ORS (such as Pedialyte). If refuses ORS, use half-strength Gatorade. Make it by mixing equal amounts of Gatorade and water.
- The key to success is giving small amounts of fluid. Offer 2-3 teaspoons (10-15 mL) every 5 minutes. Older kids can just slowly sip ORS.
- After 4 hours without throwing up, increase the amount.
- After 8 hours without throwing up, go back to regular fluids.
- Avoid fruit juices and soft drinks. They make diarrhea worse.
- Stop All Solid Foods:
- Avoid all solid foods and baby foods in kids who are vomiting.
- After 8 hours without throwing up, gradually add them back.
- Start with starchy foods that are easy to digest. Examples are cereals, crackers and bread.
- Do Not Give Medicines:
- Stop using any drug that is over-the-counter for 8 hours. Reason: Some of these can make vomiting worse.
- Fever: Mild fevers don't need to be treated with any drugs. For higher fevers, you can use an acetaminophen suppository (such as FeverAll). This is a form of the drug you put in the rectum (bottom). Ask a pharmacist for help finding this product. Do not use ibuprofen. It can upset the stomach.
- Call your doctor if: Your child vomits a drug ordered by your doctor.
- Return to School:
- Your child can return to school after the vomiting and fever are gone.
- What to Expect:
- For the first 3 or 4 hours, your child may vomit everything. Then the stomach settles down.
- Moderate vomiting usually stops in 12 to 24 hours.
- Mild vomiting (1-2 times per day) with diarrhea may last a little longer. It can continue off and on for up to a week.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Vomits all clear fluids for more than 8 hours
- Vomiting lasts more than 24 hours
- Blood or bile (green color) in the vomit
- Stomach pain present even when not vomiting
- Dehydration suspected (no urine in over 8 hours, dark urine, very dry mouth, and no tears)
- Diarrhea becomes severe
- You think your child needs to be seen
- Your child becomes worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the 'Call Your Doctor' symptoms.