Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Vomiting is the forceful and involuntary expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Although vomiting may be accompanied by nausea in adults and older children; toddlers and babies are generally not able to understand when they are having nausea. Although vomiting is not a serious issue and generally relieves on its own, it is important to find out its cause to help your toddler feel better and get proper care. If a toddler vomits just once, it may be because they just ate too much at their last meal. But if the vomiting continues, it can indicate more serious problems. Viral or bacterial infection like cold and cough, stomach flu, urinary tract infection, strep throat, pneumonia, meningitis, and also an ear infection can trigger nausea and vomiting in your toddler. Excessive crying can cause gag reflex which can make the toddler vomit too. Motion sickness, intestinal obstructions and consumption of a poisonous substance are other reasons that can also cause frequent vomiting in your toddler. Go through the following piece of read to know how vomiting should be treated and what to give a toddler for vomiting.

What Should Be Done If Your Toddler Is Vomiting?

A toddler’s throwing up is generally not a serious cause of concern and generally stops on its own without treatment. However, there are certain things that parents can do in this situation.

Give Your Toddler Small Meals

Vomiting after a single feeding can happen at times. It does not mean that the toddler has a problem. The vomiting only becomes a concern if it occurs repeatedly after feeds. To prevent vomiting, your toddler should be given small meals, should stay active and child should be taught how to wash their hands properly, especially when there is an illness in the house.

Keep Your Toddler In An Upright Position During Vomiting

When a toddler is vomiting, they should be kept upright or made to lie on their stomach or side. This can help to keep them from inhaling the vomit into their upper airway and lungs. At nap time or bedtime, the toddler should be allowed to sleep in the position they find most comfortable. The toddler should not be given solid foods within the first 24 hours of vomiting.

Make Sure Your Toddler Is Hydrated

Constant vomiting can cause dehydration in your toddler. It is important to ensure that your toddler drinks often and stays well-hydrated. Drinking small amounts of liquids frequently work best for your toddler. Your toddler should initially be made to sip water at short intervals and be allowed to drink as much fluid as they want. They should be encouraged to drink extra fluids or suck flavoured ice pops. However, your toddler should not be given fruit juice or soda pop, as these contain excess sugar and not enough of the electrolytes, which the body lost through vomiting. Diet soda pop lacks calories which the child requires for energy. If the toddler's vomiting gets severe or prolonged, the doctor can recommend an over-the-counter electrolyte solution available in liquid form or as ice pops. The doctor can also recommend a particular electrolyte product in doses appropriate for the toddler’s weight and age. Oral rehydration solution (ORS) is commonly advised in such a situation.

Avoid Giving Your Toddler Solid Food Within 24 Hours Of Vomiting

The toddler should be kept off solid food for the first 24 hours after the vomiting episode. Once your toddler stops vomiting, parents should gradually start giving regular food. Your toddler should only be given those solid foods which they have already eaten earlier. Foods like broths, crackers, mild soups, rice, toast, breads and mashed potatoes should be given to the toddler. Cereal combined with milk or water can also be given to your toddler for replacing the lost fluids. High-fiber foods and foods which contain a lot of sugar should be avoided.

Be Prepared Before Taking Your Toddler On Long Trips

When vomiting in the toddler is being caused by motion sickness, then parents should stop frequently during the trip to give the toddler a chance to calm their tummy and get some fresh air. Toddlers should also be given a small pack of snack at the beginning of the trip to keep their stomach filled and be made to drink plenty of fluids throughout the trip to prevent them from getting dehydrated. Your toddler can also be given certain medications for motion sickness, but only after consulting a doctor.

Keep Toxic Substances Away From Your Toddler’s Reach

If parents suspect their toddler to have swallowed something toxic, which is causing the vomiting, they should seek immediate medical assistance. If parents have been able to identify the toxic substance, like a medicine which is causing vomiting in their toddler, then they should inform the doctor about the same. Medicines should always be kept in places, which are impossible to reach for a toddler. Medicines should even be disposed off in places inaccessible for the your toddler.

Should Medication Be Given To The Toddler For Treating Vomiting?

The toddler should not be given any prescription or over-the-counter anti-nausea medication until their doctor recommends it. Also, medications containing aspirin should never be given to a child. Aspirin can make children more susceptible to a rare and potentially fatal disease called Reye’s syndrome.

When Should The Doctor Be Called When Your Toddler Has Vomiting?

Parents should contact a doctor immediately if their toddler’s vomiting does not get better and the symptoms aggravate in frequency or severity. Further, one should also call the doctor if the toddler develops dehydration. Some common symptoms of severe dehydration are fatigue, excessive thirst, lesser urine output, sunken eyes, cold and splotchy hands and feet, breathing problems, dizziness, lightheadedness, and excessive sleepiness. If blood or a greenish yellow liquid is present in the vomit, and if your toddler experiences swelling and tenderness in the abdomen and severe abdominal pain, medical help should be sought promptly.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: May 7, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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