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Vomitting: Causes, expected course of vomitting and home care for vomitting | KKH

Vomitting - What it is

Vomitting - Symptoms

Vomitting - How to prevent?

Vomitting - Causes and Risk Factors

​Causes of Vomitting

Most vomiting is caused by a viral infection of the lining of the stomach or by food poisoning. Often, a child who is vomiting may also develop diarrhoea.

Occasionally, the vomiting may be caused by a more serious illness, such as intestinal obstruction (blockage of the bowels), which will require surgical attention. If the vomiting is associated with severe headache, infection of the brain or a bleed or growth in the brain may be possible causes.

Expected Course

The vomiting usually stops in 6 to 24 hours. Changes in the diet usually speed recovery. If your child has diarrhoea, it will often continue for several days.

Home Care For Vomiting

  1. Offer small amounts of clear fluid for 8 hours (no solid food): Offer clear fluids in small amounts until 8 hours have passed without vomiting. You can offer glucose water, barley, rice water or oral re-hydration solution such as Pedialyte. Avoid giving just plain water alone. Start with 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of the clear fluid, depending on your child's age, every 5 minutes (or 15 to 30 ml every 15 minutes). After 4 hours without vomiting, double the amount each hour. If your child vomits using this treatment, rest the stomach complete for 1 hour and then start over but with a smaller amount.
  2. Offer bland foods after 8 hours without vomiting: For older children, they can start on porridge, bread, biscuits, bland soups or mashed potatoes. For infants, they can start on milk feeds, but give 1 or 2 ounces less per feed than usual. Usually, your child can be back on a normal diet within 24 hours after recovery from vomiting.
  3. Diet for breast-fed babies: Provide breast milk in smaller amounts than usual. Nurse on only 1 side for 5 minutes every 30 to 60 minutes. If there is no more vomiting for 8 hours, return to normal nursing on both sides.

Consult A Doctor Immediately If

  • Your child shows any signs of dehydration (such as no urine for more than 8 hours, dry mouth, no tears when crying)
  • The vomitus is bloody or greenish in colour
  • Your child starts acting very sick
  • The vomiting is persistent, that is, unable to tolerate a small amount of fluid at frequent intervals.
  • Your child complains of persistent abdominal pain or severe headache
  • Your child appears pale or lethargic
  • There is painful swelling of the abdomen

Vomitting - Diagnosis

Vomitting - Treatments

Vomitting - Preparing for surgery

Vomitting - Post-surgery care

Vomitting - Other Information

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