Feeling nauseous is unpleasant. And that’s putting it mildly. Most of us have felt nausea at some point in life. The feeling of wanting to throw up has ruined many a trips and parties! Unfortunately, children are not spared this unpleasant feeling.
For children who are still unable to verbalize their feelings, nausea is a difficult problem to explain. But for older children ‘I think I am going to be sick’ is a common refrain. But nausea is not always accompanied by vomiting, though that doesn’t make it any better.
What Causes Nausea In Children?
Nausea is very common among children. But the cause may vary. Some of the major causes of nausea in children are:
1. Motion Sickness:
Most children suffer from motion sickness. When we travel, our brain gets mixed signals from our eyes and our inner ear’s balance mechanism. This confusion can lead to a number of symptoms, including nausea. Other symptoms of motion sickness include sweating, drooling, headache, etc. Motion sickness can occur while we travel in a car, train, bus, and even airplane!
[ Read: Motion Sickness In Children ]
2. Stomach Flu:
A stomach bug can cause nausea in children too. You can get a stomach flu because of bacteria, viruses, and parasites. The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
3. Food Allergies:
If your child is allergic to some food, she may experience nausea on consuming it. Food intolerance too can cause child nausea. Most common food allergens are eggs, milk, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, wheat, and fish. Watch out for symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain if you suspect food allergy. But remember, food allergies manifest themselves within hours of consuming the allergen.
[ Read: Food Allergy Symptoms In Kids ]
It’s not just adults who suffer from anxiety! Children have a stressful life too. A new school year, missed homework, an upcoming game, or a broken heart – there’s a lot going on in your child’s life that can cause stress. Stress is a big cause of nausea in children and needs a serious look into.
[ Read: Anxiety In Children ]
5. Infections And Other Illness:
Many common illnesses like ear infections, seasonal flu, swine flu, acid reflux and reactions to medication can cause nausea and fever in children.
Did you child go out for a pizza party? That may be the cause behind her nausea! Many children tend to binge eat, especially during holidays and parties. It can cause a bad case of nausea too.
7. Food Poisoning:
Children love to eat out. But street food can be dangerous! Food poisoning can be caused due to undercooked meat, contaminated food, etc. The symptoms of food poisoning consist of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and cramps.
[ Read: Chest Pain In Children ]
How Can You Help Children Cope With Nausea?
The first thing your child needs when down with nausea is kindness. Don’t just brush it off. Remember how YOU feel when nausea strikes. That should help you deal with your child better.
Now, don’t rush and fill your child with medication! There are some easy steps you can take to offer your child some relief from nausea:
Many times, all your child needs is a few hours on the bed to recover from nausea. Plump up a pillow, lay your child down and let her relax.
2. Keep It Small:
The first urge we have when our young one is down with nausea and vomiting is to hydrate them. Yes, your kid needs hydration. But don’t make her gulp down gallons of liquid. Larger gulps can make the nausea even worse. So, make sure your child take small amounts of liquid like water, clear soup, non-caffeinated drinks. But remember-small sips, not huge gulps!
3. Stay Off Solids:
Solid food can make nausea worse. So, don’t force your child to eat. Stay off solids for a few hours. Once your child is feeling better, start with bland foods that are easy to digest such as bananas.
These are just some basic steps you can take to ease your child’s suffering. But in case of persistent nausea in children, you need to go to the doctor.
[ Read: Junk Food Facts For Kids ]
When To See A Doctor?
If your child has nausea accompanied by vomiting, you can make a trip to the doctor. Other symptoms that warrant a doctor’s appointment are:
- Vomit with blood in it
- Vomiting along with fever that lasts more than three days
- Vomiting with abdominal pain, especially lower right abdomen. (It may indicate appendicitis)
- Chest pain
- Blurred vision
- Cold and pale skin
- High fever and stiff neck
[ Read: Dehydration In Children ]
Preventing Nausea In Children:
Prevention, they say, is better than cure. We agree! There are some easy steps you can take to keep your child free of nausea.
- Wash your hands often.
- Keep your house clean.
- Make sure the food you eat is clean.
- Make sure your child doesn’t eat just before traveling to prevent motion sickness induced nausea.
- Sleeping through a journey is a great way to prevent motion sickness.
- If your child has motion sickness, she should stay away from roller coasters.
- Avoid strong fragrances as they can induce nausea.
- Help your child deal with stress better.
- Teach moderation when it comes to eating. Doing so will not only prevent nausea but will also ward off the danger of obesity.
Though unpleasant, most cases of nausea are nothing to worry about. But keep an eye on your child to rule out anything serious.
You can’t protect your child from everything unpleasant. The best you can do is teach your child good eating habits, basic hygiene, and the skills to deal with stress. A hug can do wonders too! So, hold your child close and let her know you are around. The bout of nausea will pass, don’t worry.
Do you have nausea horror stories to share? Go ahead, tell us in the comments section below.
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