WHAT CAUSES VOMITING AND DIARRHEA?
Vomiting and diarrhea in children is usually passed to others by direct contact with stool or by food contaminated with stool. This type of illness almost always gets better without medicine.
Parents just need to make sure that children are not becoming dehydrated.
Vomiting and diarrhea in the United States is usually much milder and less dangerous than it is in countries where food and water may not be as clean. In other countries, illnesses like Cholera
are common and can be very dangerous. Cholera is very rare in the United States.
Even more rarely, vomiting and diarrhea can be due to some kind of blockage in the intestines, like appendicitis. Children with this type of illness have pain in the abdomen that continues or
worsens, and their vomit usually turns green. Children with this type of illness get worse with time instead of getting better. If this is the case, call your doctor immediately.
HOME TREATMENT – (< 2 YEARS)
- · Continue Breast feeding if the child is breast-fed. If the child seems dehydrated feed a Oral Rehydration Solution like Pedialyte.
- · Give adequate fluids. Even if baby continues to vomit, keep feeding.
- · Do not use sodas or sports drink or fruit juice. They have too much sugar and not much salt.
HOME TREATMENT – (OLDER THAN 2 YEARS)
- · For all children, wait 15 to 30 minutes after vomiting before trying the next feeding. When giving Oral Rehydration Solution, give small amounts frequently. If you let them drink a large amount at one time, they will probably vomit.
- · Do not give your child plan water to drink. Children who are vomiting needs sugars and salts as well as water.
- · Once your child has stopped vomiting for at least a few hours, you can reintroduce other liquids and solid foods.
- · Do not use Oral Rehydration Solution as the only fluid for more than 24 hours; add solids and other liquids.
- · If your child has only diarrhea, do not withhold solid food, formula or breast milk. Certain foods help make stools firmer. These foods are often called the BRAT diet: Banana, Rice, Applesauce and Toast. Other foods may make diarrhea worse: these include raw fruits and vegetables, beans and some spices. For children in diapers, try protecting the skin with an ointment like Vitamin A&D ointment.
ORAL REHYDRATION SOLUTION
Oral rehydration solution can be purchased from any pharmacy or supermarket (common brands are Infalyte® and Pedialyte®), or made at home.
TO MAKE AT HOME
- · 1 quart (32 ounces) or 1 liter clean water
- · 1/2 teaspoon (small spoon) salt
- · 2 tablespoons (big spoon) sugar
- · Mix well. DO NOT HEAT OR BOIL
Many children will drink this solution without flavorings.
WHEN TO CALL YOUR DOCTOR:
- · Your child has had no urine in 8 hours, or less than 3 in 24 hours.
- · Your child has dry mouth and lips, or does not have tears with crying.
- · Your child is difficult to wake up.
- · Your child is consistently refusing to drink liquids.
- · Your child develops a fever greater than 102ºF (38.9º C) with vomiting and diarrhea.
- · Your child has been vomiting for more than 24 hours, or has vomited more than 3 times in the past 8 hours.
- · Your child’s vomit turns green, bloody, or contains what look like coffee grounds.
- · There is any chance that your child accidentally ate or swallowed anything poisonous, including medicines.
- · Your child has had a recent injury to the head or abdomen.
- · Your child is less than 2 years old and has had diarrhea for more than 24 hours.
- · Your child is older than 2 years old and has had diarrhea for more than 48 hours.
- · Your child has had more than 6 stools in 8 hours.
- · Your child has any blood or mucus in the stool.
- · Your child has constant abdominal pain for more than 2 hours.
- · Your child is on antibiotics.
- · Your child seems to be getting sicker, or you are worried.