Understanding Vomiting In Children
Vomiting In Children
Vomiting is quite common in babies and young children. simply put it is when food is brought back up from within the stomach; although it can be a symptom of many illnesses, unless your child appears to be unwell in other ways whilst vomiting, it should not be a major concern.
Types of Vomiting In Children
Children may experience many types of vomiting including:
Possetting – Your baby vomits a little just after a feed
Reflux – when the valve at the top of the stomach opens by mistake the food is able to slowly come back up the esophagus (food pipe). This type of vomiting is common in babies and usually disappears by the time they can walk.
Projectile Vomiting – When your baby vomits with a lot of force.
Occasionally your baby may projectile vomit and this is normal, but if it happens after every feed it is important to see your doctor immediately, as this can be the sign of a more serious medical condition such as a blockage.
Causes Of Vomiting In Children
Vomiting can be caused by:
- Infections such as gastroenteritis or the common cold
- Gastro-oesophageal reflux
- Motion sickness (quite common in babies and infants)
Vomiting may be a sign of a more serious condition such as:
Vomiting with diarrhea and fever is usually the sign of a viral infection (virus). If your child experiences these symptoms it is important to give them plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration and see your doctor, emergency department/hospital as fast as possible.
Treatment For Vomiting Children
- Generally babies recover very quickly after vomiting and the only real concern is dehydration, so give them plenty of fluids.
- If your child appears to be unwell and keeps on vomiting see your doctor.
- Do not give medication to stop your child vomiting unless your doctor has prescribed it.
Reflux Vomiting Can Be Reduced/Prevented
The positioning of your child in bed, or for feedings can play a part in preventing vomiting. You may try:
- Placing your baby in an upright position during feeding
- Prop up your baby after a feed
- Lay your baby down on their left side
- Don’t bounce your baby after feeding
- To help with mild vomiting you may add a little corn flour to your babies food to thicken it up
If your child appears to be uncomfortable after vomiting it may be due to acid reflux/heartburn (when stomach acid rising up the food pipe with the vomit). You may try giving them some water or milk to wash the acid back down into the stomach.
If your baby does experience heartburn see your doctor. They can give you a definitive diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan.
When To See A Doctor
You must see a doctor if any of these symptoms occur:
- Poor weight gain due to excessive vomiting
- Bouts of coughing and/or choking spells
- Yellow/green bile or blood in the vomit
- The vomiting happens after every feed and/or is becoming increasingly more forceful
- Your baby appears generally unwell
- Mild vomiting in babies is normal and it will get better in time
- Most babies need simple treatment or no treatment what so ever
- Changing the babies sleeping and feeding positions can help
- Don’t give any medicine unless your doctor has prescribe it
- If your child is unsettled after vomiting you can give them a drink or a little bit of food
- If you are concerned about anything at all See Your Doctor.