Don’t lose your lunch – managing vomiting in kids

Eva Alessia, D.O.

Eva Alessia, D.O.

At some point, every child is going to vomit. Here are some tips to help you and your child at home and help prevent him from getting dehydrated.

Less than 12 months of age and formula fed
Give 5 ml of Pedialyte (preferred) or water every 10 minutes. After one hour, if baby does not vomit, then you can increase to 7.5 ml every 10 minutes. Then,  increase by 2.5 ml every hour. After 8 hours, your baby can return to formula. If your baby is older than 4 to 6 months of age, they also return to cereal, bananas, etc. After 24 to 48 hours with no vomiting, they can return to their regular diet.

Less than 12 months of age and breastfed
After two episodes of vomiting, nurse only on one breast every 1 to 2 hours. If your baby has more than two episode of vomiting, then nurse for 4 to 5 minutes every 30 to 60 minutes. If baby has not vomited in 8 hours, you can return them to their usual breastfeeding pattern.

Older than 12 months of age
Give your child 15 ml Pedialyte, water/ice chips, flat Sierra Mist (or other lemon-lime soda) or Ginger Ale, or popsicles every 10 minutes. Gatorade is not recommended for rehydration of vomiting and diarrhea due to a virus/”stomach flu.” Gatorade is only good for rehydrating after sports/work done in the heat for many hours. If your child is having multiple/severe vomiting, then rest their stomach for an hour before starting to offer liquids. You can increase the amount by 2.5 ml every hour, as long as your child does not vomit. After 8 hours without vomiting, start BRAT (bananas, applesauce, rice, toast) diet. These are essentially bland foods. After 24 to 48 hours with no vomiting, it is ok to return your child to their regular diet.little-girl-stomachache-iStock_000056060218_Large

Sleep is one of the best things any child can do to help resolve vomiting. Try not to give Tylenol, etc; it can make vomiting worse. Do not let child “swig” fluid; they will be more likely to vomit it right back up. Slow and steady wins the race. Vomiting should be over in 24 hours. Sometimes it may last 48 hours. Call your pediatrician if you see any signs of dehydration: decreased urine output, sunken soft spot, inside of mouth/tongue looks “dull”, not shiny or glistening.

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