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Acute Nausea And Vomiting In Children


Some children, including babies, vomit for unknown reasons. Some common reasons for vomiting include gastroesophageal reflux or infection of the stomach, intestines, or urinary tract.


Return to the emergency department if:

  • Your child has a seizure.
  • Your child's vomit contains blood or bile (green substance), or it looks like it has coffee grounds in it.
  • Your child is irritable and has a stiff neck and headache.
  • Your child has severe abdominal pain.
  • Your child says it hurts to urinate, or cries when he urinates.
  • Your child does not have energy, and is hard to wake up.
  • Your child has signs of dehydration such as a dry mouth, crying without tears, or urinating less than usual.

Contact your child's healthcare provider if:

  • Your baby has projectile (forceful, shooting) vomiting after a feeding.
  • Your child's fever increases or does not improve.
  • Your child begins to vomit more frequently.
  • Your child cannot keep any fluids down.
  • Your child's abdomen is hard and bloated.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.


Your child may need any of the following:

  • Antinausea medicine calms your child's stomach and controls vomiting.
  • Give your child's medicine as directed. Call your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your child's healthcare provider in 1 to 2 days:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your child's visits.


Give your child liquids as directed. Ask how much liquid your child should drink each day and which liquids are best. Children under 1 year old should continue drinking breast milk and formula. Your child's healthcare provider may recommend a clear liquid diet for children older than 1 year old. Examples of clear liquids include water, diluted juice, broth, and gelatin.

Oral rehydration solution:

An oral rehydration solution, or ORS, contains water, salts, and sugar that are needed to replace lost body fluids. Ask what kind of ORS to use, how much to give your child, and where to get it.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.