Vomiting is a common symptom in childhood and is usually caused by a viral infection of the stomach. This is known as ‘viral gastroenteritis’. Symptoms may last up to one week and often include diarrhea, crampy abdominal pain and fever. The vomiting is often the greatest in the first 24 hours of illness. There is no treatment for viral gastroenteritis other than adequate rehydration to replete lost fluids.
The replacement of fluids is important in the vomiting child, but parents should wait at least 30 minutes after a vomiting episode to begin fluid introduction. This gives your child’s belly a chance to rest. Offering your child small amounts of clear liquids is the key to treatment success. One teaspoon every five to ten minutes will ensure adequate hydration.
If your child is able to tolerate these small amounts, the volume can be gradually increased. If your child does not eat any solids for several days, don’t worry! They will be ‘okay’. It is common to lose up to 5 – 10 % of body weight during a period of gastroenteritis.
Important signs of dehydration:
*No urine output for over 8 hours *No tear formation during crying *Dry lips and mouth
Call our office if your child:
*Shows any signs of dehydration (see above)
*Unable to keep fluids down after several attempts of feeding *If you see any blood in your child’s vomit or diarrhea
*Fever that persists for more than 72 hours
*Severe localized abdominal pain