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What causes vomiting?

When your child throws up, it is often caused by a virus. Your child may also have watery bowel movements (diarrhea). Most of the time, vomiting stops in 6 to 24 hours. The diarrhea may keep going for a day or 2 more.

How can I take care of my child?

  1. Give clear fluids for 8 hours.Give 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of clear fluid every 10 minutes. After 4 hours, double the amount each hour.

    • For babies under 1 year old. Give your baby a clear fluid drink like Pedialyte or Kao Lectrolyte. These drinks help give your baby important minerals that can be lost when throwing up and sick.

    • For babies over 1 year old. The best clear fluid is water or ice chips.

    • For children over 2 years old. Give your child water or ice chips. You can also give your child flat, lemon-lime soda. Make a drink of half water and half soda.

  2. Give bland foods 8 hours after your child stops throwing up.

    • Babies who eat sold food can have applesauce, strained bananas and rice cereal.

    • Other children can have saltine crackers, bland soups and mashed potatoes, or honey on white bread.

    • Give the bland foods for 24 hours.

  3. Do not give medicine your child doesn't need. Do not give any medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

Call your child's doctor right away if:

  • Your child shows signs of not getting enough fluids:

    • Your child does not urinate (pee) in 8 hours.

    • Your child has a very dry mouth.

    • Your child has no tears when he cries.

  • Your child starts to act very sick.

Call your doctor during office hours if:

  • Your child is under age 2 and throws up for more than 24 hours.

  • Your child is over age 2 and throws up for more that 48 hours.

  • You have other concerns or questions.

Published by McKesson Clinical Reference Systems

Copyright © 1986-2002 McKesson Health Solutions LLC.

All rights reserved.

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