Pediatric Vomiting and Diarrhea Treatment
Although vomiting and diarrhea can be symptoms of several mild illnesses, dehydration – loss of water from the body – can be a major concern.
Treatment for Vomiting
Most cases of vomiting are caused by a virus and improve on their own. Do not use either over-the-counter or prescription remedies unless they've been specifically prescribed by your WellStar pediatrician for this affected child and this particular illness.
To minimize the likelihood of inhaling vomit, keep a vomiting infant or toddler lying on his/her side as much as possible.
To prevent dehydration, be sure your child consumes enough extra fluids to replace those lost; if he/she vomits these fluids, notify your WellStar pediatrician.
For the first 24 or so hours of any illness that causes vomiting, keep your child off solid foods, encouraging him/her to consume small amounts of an electrolyte solution (as recommended by your WellStar pediatrician) or clear fluids. Liquids help prevent dehydration, and are less likely than solid foods to cause further vomiting.
Be sure to follow your WellStar pediatrician's guidelines for giving your child fluids; occasionally he/she may prescribe anti-nausea drugs.
If your child can't keep clear liquids down, or the vomiting becomes more severe, notify your WellStar pediatrician. He/she will examine your child, and may order blood, urine and/or stool tests or X-rays. Sometimes, hospital care will be necessary.
Treatment for Diarrhea
Most children with mild diarrhea can continue a normal diet, including breastfeeding, formula, or milk. If your baby seems bloated or gassy after drinking cow's milk or formula, call your WellStar pediatrician to discuss temporary alternatives.
Children with moderate diarrhea are likely to need electrolyte solutions, which replace water and salts lost through diarrhea. Do not try to prepare these fluids yourself; use only commercially available fluids, whether generic or brand-name, that are made for people with diarrhea. If your child is not vomiting, these fluids can be used generously until he/she resumes producing normal amounts of urine.
Unless your child is vomiting, continue to feed him/her. You may have to provide smaller amounts, and/or different types, of food. Do not give him/her anti-diarrhea medicine unless prescribed by your WellStar pediatrician.
If your child had blood in his/her stool, develops a high fever (more that 102°F / 39°C), or has any significant change in behavior, call your WellStar pediatrician.