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Vomiting

October 17, 2018

Source: Little Spurs Pediatric Urgent Care
Article By: Alicia Tezel, MD, FAAP

Barfing, throwing up, puking – all parents are familiar with these terms. If your child is vomiting, here are a few things to keep in mind that will help them feel better.

What causes vomiting? 
There are many different causes for vomiting including food poisoning, headaches, and viruses. The main cause of vomiting in children is a stomach virus. If this is the case, your child might also experience diarrhea, fever, and cramps.

How long does it last?
With proper care, vomiting usually stops in 6-24 hours. If your child is experiencing diarrhea, the diarrhea may last a few more days.

What should I watch out for?
The main risk with vomiting is dehydration. You should make sure to give your child extra fluids (Pedialyte, Gatorade, water) during the time they are sick.

Signs of dehydration include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Dark-colored urine or none at all
  • Not sweating
  • Lightheadedness or weakness


What can I do to help my child?
For the first 24 hours after your child begins vomiting, do not feed them solid food. Instead, try to have them drink clear liquids and make sure to keep them hydrated. Keep in mind that fluids should be given slowly and in small amounts, so your child does not vomit again. Gradually increase the amount of fluids as they get better.

Most of the time vomiting will stop on its own. Never give your child medication for vomiting unless it has been prescribed by a doctor.

After eight hours of your child not vomiting, begin feeding them bland foods (saltines, bread, rice, etc.) Typically they will be back to their normal diet after 24 hours.

Photo Credit: Pedialyte.com

Call your pediatrician if your child:

  • Has signs of dehydration
  • Vomits up blood or a coffee-ground looking substance
  • Has abdominal pain when not vomiting
  • Begins acting confused
  • Does not have diarrhea and is vomiting for over 24 hours
  • Is unable to keep liquids down

If your child’s vomiting meets any of the conditions above, make an appointment with their primary care provider right away! If they are unavailable, please feel free to bring your child to one of our pediatric urgent care clinics near you. Little Spurs Pediatric Urgent Care has ten pediatric urgent care locations in San Antonio and two pediatric urgent care locations in Houston. Our clinics are open seven days a week; Mon- Fri 9a-9p, Sat 9a-6p, and Sun 10a-6p; and can be seen on a walk-in basis.

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