Vomiting in Children

 Vomiting  is usually associated with problems directly involving the stomach or bowel, such as stomach flu or food intolerance, but also can occur in children for other reasons. Some children will  vomit  from a high fever, and others from emotional upsets. Some children have very strong gag reflexes;when they cough it can cause them to gag and than throw up. In these cases, there is nothing wrong with the stomach.

Stomach flu is a common virus infection in young children. Usually the child is listless,especially after  vomiting . The  vomiting  is not caused by coughing and often comes with little warning. At the beginning of a stomach flu (also known as viral gastro-enteritis) the child may  vomit  repeatedly and be unable to keep anything down.After a delay of 6 to 24 hours, diarrhea usually occurs. The  vomiting  is usually over after the first day or so.

It is important to avoid dehydration which is dangerous and can even be fatal. However,the vast majority of children cope with a stomach flu without dehydration or going near a doctor or a hospital.

For most children who are healthy and well-nourished before the flu starts,the risk of serious dehydration depends on excessive loss of fluid rather than a failure to take in fluids.

Any healthy child, even a baby, can safely go for up to 12 hours or more without drinking much, as long as there are no fluids being lost by  vomiting  ,diarrhea or very heavy and continuous sweating.

A child with gastro-enteritis usually cannot keep much fluid down for the first 12 hours or so, but parents should keep offering frequent small sips of flat ginger ale or diluted apple juice (a tbsp. every 15 min to start) and than gradually increase the amount as tolerated. Pediatric authorities recommend giving special ‘rehydration’ fluid for children,which you can buy at any drugstore.