Pediatric Specialists of Plano

Vomiting in Children

Throughout childhood and adolescence, vomiting and nausea are not unusual. Many conditions cause vomiting and nausea in kids. Our Plano pediatricians know that parents worry about how to treat their children and when to call the doctor. Our team offers helpful information and resources parents need to cope with vomiting in children.

Gastroenteritis is a common cause of vomiting and nausea in kids

Infections of the intestines and stomach, known as gastroenteritis or “stomach flu,” are one of the common causes of vomiting. Viruses usually cause these infections, but bacteria and parasites can also cause gastroenteritis. Fever, belly pain and diarrhea often accompany vomiting, but the vomiting usually goes away in 24 hours or less.

Sometimes, other conditions cause nausea and vomiting, including motion sickness, migraines, food poisoning or overeating. Less commonly, symptoms can be caused by more serious conditions, such as gallstones or appendicitis. In these cases, medical help is necessary, sometimes urgently.

Treating vomiting in children

Most of the time, gastroenteritis – and the vomiting and nausea that go along with it –doesn’t require any treatment other than keeping the child comfortable and hydrated. Our medical team offers several tips to help parents care for vomiting in children.

  • Treat mild dehydration by offering the child small sips of an oral rehydration solution, such as Enfalyte or Pedialyte. Frozen electrolyte pops work for older kids. These solutions work better than water because they contain the right balance of sugar, salt and water to help keep the child hydrated.
  • Infants can continue to breastfeed or drink formula, if they are not vomiting it back up repeatedly. Babies can drink about one tablespoon of oral rehydration solution every 15 to 20 minutes, until they are able to start nursing or taking formula again.
  • A few hours after the child stops vomiting, parents can try liquids such as water, electrolyte solution, ice pops or gelatin water. If that stays down, it’s okay to try bland foods such as toast, rice, crackers, mashed potatoes or yogurt.
  • Our pediatricians urge parents to call us before giving children any medications for nausea or vomiting.

When parents should call our Plano pediatricians

Sometimes vomiting in children is a sign of a serious condition. Parents should always call our physicians if they notice any of the following symptoms.

  • Inability to drink for several hours
  • Signs of dehydration, including rapid breathing or pulse, decreased urination, dry mouth or sunken eyes
  • Blood in the vomit or stool
  • Vomit that is brownish or green in color
  • Severe pain in the back or stomach
  • Stiff neck or severe headache
  • Vomiting that occurs after a head injury
  • Confusion or lethargy

Our Plano pediatricians are always here to help parents deal with problems such as vomiting and nausea in kids. Contact us for an appointment.