Vomiting In Kids - Causes, Symptoms And Remedies

Vomiting In Kids

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Vomiting helps your kid’s gastrointestinal system get rid of the bad stuff in his stomach! But, if your little one vomits continuously, or all too frequently, there might be an underlying cause. And, if you are worried about his frequent bouts of vomiting, you might want to read our post here!

Below, we talk about the causes, symptoms, and treatment for vomiting in kids!

What Is Vomiting?

The forceful expulsion of the stomach contents via the mouth or sometimes the nose is called vomiting. Your kid tends to vomit due to several reasons like food poisoning, gastritis, head injuries or even some form of cancer. Vomiting becomes acute when your little one loses an excess amount of fluid and becomes severely dehydrated (1).

[ Read: Acid Reflux In Children ]

Types Of Vomiting In Kids:

Here are some of the common types of vomiting your kid can experience:

1. Possetting:

It occurs when your breastfeeding baby vomits up small amounts of milk immediately after a feed.

2. Reflux:

This vomiting commonly occurs in young kids. When the top valve of your kid’s stomach opens up accidentally, the content of the stomach reaches to the food pipe (esophagus) slowly. The particular type of vomiting never harms your little one and gets cured with the passage of time.

3. Projectile Vomiting:

This occurs when your kid expels his stomach contents (undigested food elements) in a forceful manner.

Causes Of Vomiting In Kids:

Let us check out some of the common reasons that trigger vomiting in children more often:

1. Gastroenteritis:

  • When your kid suffers from the infectious disease of stomach flu, he often feels to vomit at regular time intervals.
  • The germs to cause gastroenteritis in children include bacteria, viruses, and parasites. The disease often turns deathly in the form of diarrhea in kids.

2. Food Allergies:

  • There are numerous food elements to provoke an unwanted reaction within your kid’s stomach, and your little one gets afflicted with food allergies.
  • Some of the allergic food lists may include eggs, shellfish, peanuts, milk, wheat, and fish.
  • Your kid experiences severe abdominal cramp, accompanied by nausea and vomiting after ingesting the allergic foods.

3. Excess Stress:

  • When your kid suffers from huge emotional upsets like getting admission to a new school, participating in a competition or preparing for exams, it can often lead to nausea and vomiting.

4. Food Poisoning:

  • Food poisoning increases your kid’s likelihood to experience severe nausea and bouts of vomiting.
  • The harmful bacteria present in undercooked meats, fishes, and dairy products often cause food poisoning.
  • Some of the other common signs of food poisoning in kids are abdominal pain, diarrhea, and nausea.

5. Digestive Problems:

  • When your kid suffers from an infected appendix, stomach acid reflux or a blockage in his digestive system, he can experience vomiting more often.

6. Nerve And Brain Conditions:

  • When your child suffers from an emotional trauma or brain tumors, the severe pressure caused from the swelling often makes him vomit.

7. Flu And Other Illnesses:

  • Some of the other diseases that make your kid vomit frequently are acid reflux, ear infections, swine flu and seasonal allergies.
  • Side effects of some strong medications like antibiotics or painkillers can make your child vomit.
  • Labyrinthitis (Ear infection) may cause your kid to face severe dizziness, and the sensation of head spinning makes your kid vomit.
  • Appendicitis may cause vomiting in small kids. Your little one suffers from extreme stomach and abdominal cramp. Through the medical intervention, the surgeon removes your kid’s appendix.

Some of the other noticeable causes of vomiting in small children are:

  • Food allergy or lactose intolerance
  • Accidentally swallowing a poisonous substance.
  • Swallowing excess air during feeding.
  • Overeating or drinking quickly
  • Motion sickness
  • Excessive coughing
  • A head injury or a migraine
  • Hernia (The blockage makes it difficult for your baby to pass the bowel movements)
  • Excessive intake of food (2)

[ Read: Stomach Flu In Children ]

Symptoms Of Vomiting In Kids:

Some of the common signs of vomiting in kids are:

  • Nausea
  • Dehydration
  • Dizziness
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Pale skin
  • Irritability
  • Fussiness and sleepiness
  • Diarrhea
  • Low-grade fever
  • Abdominal pain or swelling
  • Lethargy and listlessness
  • Drooling or spitting
  • Severe headaches
  • Lack of appetite
  • Repeated episodes of retching (attempting to vomit)

Dehydration is one of the most significant side effects of vomiting in kids. Here are some of the common symptoms of dehydration you should watch out for:

  • Dry Mouth
  • Deep, rapid breathing
  • No tears while crying
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Reduced frequency of urination
  • Less number of diapers wet in a day
  • Sunken eyes
  • Clammy hands and feet (3)

Diagnosing Vomiting In Kids:

The medical consultant will closely scrutinize your kid’s physical conditions and ask when did the vomit started, how many times did the child vomit and what food or drink did your child intake just before vomiting.

Your child needs to undergo the following medical tests for diagnosing the underlying cause of his vomiting:

  • Blood tests- A blood test can easily diagnose any infections or defects in your kid’s body organs like stomach, liver or brain.
  • Pelvic or abdominal ultrasounds- The sound waves can display the internal view of the organs. The ultrasound test clearly indicates if your child has appendicitis or any other digestive problems.
  • An abdominal CT- The x-ray machine makes use of a small computer to take vivid pictures of your kid’s abdomen. The pictures clearly indicate the presence of appendicitis or a tumor.
  • Abdominal X-ray- The x-ray can identify any tear or blockage in your kid’s digestive system.

Treating Vomiting In Kids:

The primary goal of the treatment should ensure that your child does not become dehydrated due to loss of fluids. In the case of severe dehydration, the doctor may also advise your child to get admitted in the hospital immediately.

Here are some curative measures to treat vomiting in kids:

  • Anti-nausea medication- These medications effectively calms your child’s stomach and helps him overcome the bout of vomit.
  • Antibiotics- To help your kid fight infections like flu or bacterial attacks, doctors prescribe intake of antibiotics. It is important for your little one to complete the full course of antibiotic, to get the desired results.
  • An oral rehydration solution (ORS)- To prevent severe dehydration, your child needs to intake the ORS at repetitive intervals of time. The solution contains water, salts, and sugar that can easily replace the lost body fluids (4).

Tips To Help Your Child Cope Up With Vomiting:

1. Dietary Recommendations:

  • If your kid vomits for a few times and does not show any symptoms dehydration, he can continue eating the regular diet.
  • When your breastfeeding infant vomits, you should continue to feed your baby unless your doctor restricts you from doing so. Doctors do not prescribe ORS for the breastfed infants, as your kid can easily digest the breast milk.
  • If your feeding infant vomits immediately after nursing, try to modify the feeding position or try feeding for a shorter time span.
  • For older kids, you should carefully monitor for the symptoms of dehydration and never force your child to eat.
  • Encourage your kid to drink the plentiful amount of fluids, especially the oral rehydration solutions. Some of the other fluids that your kid can intake safely are water, diluted fruit juice, and soda.
  • Restrict vomiting kids from drinking carbonated beverages or apple, cherry or pear juices as they are typically high in sugar content. Sports drinks should also be avoided strictly, as they do not have proper electrolyte levels.
  • Recommended food list for your afflicted kid may include lean meats, fruits, vegetables, yogurt, rice, potatoes, and bread. Restrict your kid from eating high fat or oily foods, as they become difficult to digest.

[ Read: Food Allergy In Children ]

2. Drinking Clear Liquids At Regular Time Interval:

  • As frequent vomiting in children causes severe dehydration, you need to make your kid intake frequent and small amounts of clear liquids.
  • Clear liquids are pretty simple to digest for your kid’s stomach, and they can unlikely irritate the stomach lining.
  • Some of the suggested clear liquids for your afflicted kid are water, tea, cranberry juice, broth, and Popsicles.
  • Restrict your kid from drinking acidic fluids like coffee, lemonade or orange juice.

3. Oral Rehydration Therapy:

  • The solution does not cure vomiting, but it helps your kid to overcome the condition of dehydration caused because of a vomiting illness.
  • You can easily avail ORS solution from local pharmacies or groceries, with or without prescription. Some of the popular brands of ORS are Pedialyte, Infalyte, and ReVital.
  • You can feed your child the ORS solution when your little one experiences mild dehydration, suffers from diarrhea, or refuses to intake the normal diet. You can make your child drink ORS frequently and small sips using spoon, bottle, or cup.
  • The recommended dosage of ORS lies around five teaspoons of ORS for every single pound of your child’s body weight. It means for your 20-pounds child; it equals to 100 teaspoons of ORS solution.
  • Measure the ORS solution using a measuring cup or spoon, and feed your kid the fluid at regular time interval.
  • After completing the whole solution, your child can continue eating his daily diet.

[ Read: Dehydration In Children ]

4. Hygiene Measures:

  • Regular hand washing helps to stop the spread of contagious germ from the infected person to your child.
  • You can instruct your kid as well the other family member to wash their hands with antimicrobial soap.

[ Read: Personal Hygiene For Kids ]

5. Reduce Potential Triggers:

  • Child vomiting can get aggravated by external factors like heat, humidity, smoke, stuffy room, perfumes or cooking smells.
  • You need to reduce such potential triggers until your kid completely stops vomiting and recovers from his illness.
  • Try to keep your kid in a cold room, and open the window to let the fresh air get into the room.
  • You can also try installing a humidifier in your child’s room to maintain the moisture levels at control.
  • Avoid usage of strong room fresheners, perfumes or deodorants, as your child can feel more uncomfortable.
  • Stop cooking such food elements that emit strong odors to trigger the intense bouts of vomiting.
  • Try to keep your kid in bed until he recovers entirely from his illness, as sudden movements can also trigger nausea and vomiting.

6. Caring For Your Kid:

  • Recurrent vomiting often triggers profuse sweating, and each of the vomiting episodes leaves an acidic taste in your kid’s mouth.
  • Make your kid wear loose, comfortable, and light clothes so that it does not trap the excess sweat.
  • Additionally, keep some couple of soft towels handy to wipe off your kid’s neck and face after he vomits.
  • Switch on the fan of your kid’s room or open the windows to remove the unwanted odor of the vomit and make him feel fresh.

7. Stomach Rest:

Restrict your kid from eating or drinking for at least 30 to 60 minutes after vomiting. It allows your child’s stomach to recover from the condition (5).

When To Seek Medical Advice?

Call your child’s doctor, if you come across any of the following symptoms:

  • Bile or bloody vomit
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting recurrently (several times an hour or day)
  • Uncontrolled retching
  • persistent projectile vomiting
  • Fever (If your child has a temperature more than 104°F)
  • Bloody bowel movements.
  • Behavior changes, like lethargy or slow responsiveness (6).

Home Remedies To Cure Vomiting In Kids:

Here are few simple and effective home remedies that can help your child overcome the frequent bouts of vomiting:

1. Ginger:

  • Ginger effectively soothes your kid’s digestive system as it serves as a natural anti-emetic to stop vomiting in children.
  • Ginger effectively reduces the nauseous condition, and your child overcomes the bout of vomiting.
  • Mix one teaspoon of lemon juice with one teaspoon of fresh ginger juice, and make your child intake the solution several times a day.
  • Alternatively, you can also prepare fresh ginger tea with homey for your afflicted kid.

[ Read: Chamomile For Kids ]

2. Rice Water:

  • Rice water helps your kid alleviate the bout of vomiting, especially when the underlying factor being gastritis.
  • While preparing the rice water, you should try using white rice not the brown one, as the starch of white rice is pretty easy to digest for your kid.
  • Boil a cup of white rice in two cups of water and strain the solution in a cup. Make your kid drink the rice water.

3. Cinnamon:

  • Cinnamon helps in calming your kid’s stomach and overcome the nauseous condition caused due to digestive disorders.
  • In one cup of boiling water, you can add one teaspoon of cinnamon powder and allow it to boil for few minutes. Strain the solution and you can add one tablespoon of honey to flavor it.

4. Mint:

  • Mint can provide adequate relief from nausea and vomiting caused due to stomach upset.
  • You can add one tablespoon of dried organic mint leaves to one cup of hot water.
  • Allow the mint steep for about ten minutes and strain the solution.
  • You can also make your little one simply chew few fresh mint leaves, to overcome the nauseous feeling.
  • Alternatively, to prepare a soothing solution mix one teaspoon of each lemon juice, honey, and mint juice and make your kid drink the solution thrice a day.

5. Clove:

  • Clove known for its soothing effects aids in digestion and helps your child overcome the bout of vomiting. Especially, for the vomiting caused due to gastric irritability clove works the best.
  • Make your kid chew few cloves or prepare a cup of hot tea with cloves to treat vomiting.

6. Vinegar:

  • Apple cider vinegar helps your kid ton recover from the queasy feeling. The solution calms his stomach and aids in detoxification.
  • Due the antimicrobial properties of vinegar, it effectively cures food poisoning.
  • Mix one tablespoon of each honey and apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and make your little one sip the solution at repetitive time intervals.
  • As the smell of vomit seems to be acidic and triggers your child to vomit more. To freshen up your kid’s breath, you can make him rinse his mouth with water-vinegar dilute solution.

7. Fennel Seeds:

  • Fennel seeds help regulate the bowel movements and ease the nauseous condition.
  • The antimicrobial properties of fennel seed help in preventing and curing stomach flu, which can be the underlying cause of vomiting in your kid.
  • Add one tablespoon of freshly crushed fennel seeds to a one cup of boiling water. Allow the fennel to steep in the water for next ten minutes and then strain the solution. Make your kid drink the solution once or twice a day.

8. Cumin:

  • One of the best home remedies to treat vomiting is cumin. The spice stimulates the secretion of the pancreatic enzymes and helps your kid to overcome the queasy feeling caused out of digestive issues.
  • Mix half teaspoon of ground cumin seeds into a cup of hot water and make your kid drink the diluted solution.
  • You can also add a pinch of nutmeg into the cumin solution, and make your kid drink the mixture.
  • Alternatively, you can mix half teaspoon of cumin powder and cardamom powder with one teaspoon of honey and make your kid intake the spice mixture slowly.

9. Onion Juice:

  • Onion juice helps your little one to combat nausea and vomiting, due to its natural antibiotic properties.
  • Mix one teaspoon of each onion juice and grated ginger and make your kid consume the mixture at regular time intervals to stop vomiting.
  • Alternatively, mix one-half cup of onion juice with two teaspoons of organic honey and make your kid consume half a tablespoon of the mixture to combat vomiting.

10. Chamomile:

  • Chamomile best known for its tranquilizing effects reduces the impact of the stress-induced chemicals in your child’s brain and promotes the production of healthy adrenal hormones.
  • Chamomile aids in digestion and promotes restful sleep in kids that help them recover from the nauseous condition.

11. Cayenne:

  • Cayenne is rather popular for is anti-inflammatory properties helps your kid overcome nausea, vomiting, and indigestion.
  • Cayenne soothes the upset stomach and stimulates your kid’s appetite to become healthy again.

12. Sugar And Salt Solution:

  • The simple solution made using salt and sugar helps your kid overcome the bout of vomiting.
  • As we know, vomiting repetitively can irritate the stomach lining and can also make your kid irritable. The extrusion can expel the vital nutrients from your kid’s body. It can cause fluid imbalance and severe dehydration.
  • To retain your child’s fluid balance, make him drink the simple sugar and salt solution.

13. Papaya:

  • Papaya contains a high percentage of antibacterial compounds that aids in digestion and kills the acid that can cause vomiting and nausea.
  • Papaya discards the harmful germs or bacteria that deteriorate your kid’s stomach condition and increases his likelihood to vomit more.
  • The fruit contains a high percentage of natural enzymes that helps your kid to digest food smoothly.

14. Lavender:

  • The aromatic fragrance of lavender oil makes your nauseous kid feel fresh and overcome the bouts of vomiting easily.
  • Lavender helps in restoring the balance, soothes to cure a severe headache and promotes better sleep in kids.
  • You can put a few drops of lavender oil on your kid’s pillow or napkin and let him inhale the small.

A Word Of Caution:

  • Mild vomiting can occur during the early phase of your kid’s life, and it improves over time.
  • Changing the sleeping or breastfeeding positions may help.
  • Offer small amounts of food and drink to your kid, who recently went through an episode of vomiting.
  • When your kid feels queasy, make him drink small sips of water at regular time interval.
  • Make your kid drink chilled lime juice to get rid of the bouts of vomiting.
  • Smelling a fresh orange peel helps your little one overcome vomiting.
  • Make your kid lick a small piece of lemon mixed with rock salt spread all over it.
  • Cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon serve as anti-vomiting drugs.
  • Encourage your child to take a generous amount of rest to recover from the nauseous condition.
  • Never give any medications to your kid, before consulting the doctor.
  • If your kid vomits due to some bad odor or smell, limit your child’s exposure from such harsh odors (7).

Did your kid struggle with bouts of vomiting? How did you help your child recover? Share your story here!

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