Do the following to prevent dehydration from excessive vomiting:
- After your child vomits, do not give fluids for 30 minutes.
- Use Pedialyte for infants and Gatorade for older children (>1 year old).
- Give 1 teaspoon every 5 minutes for 30 minutes (even if your child is crying for more fluids, you must pace them or they will throw-up).
- After 30 minutes of sipping every 5 minutes, wait 30 minutes without drinking fluids. If they do not vomit during this time you can allow them to begin drinking Pedialyte/Gatorade freely.
- If at any time they vomit again, repeat the above cycle.
- Advance quantity slowly as your child demonstrates tolerance to fluids.
- Stop giving milk, soft drinks, or fruit juices if not staying down.
- Milk should be attempted only after tolerance of other fluids has been demonstrated.
- Once tolerating fluids (generally 12oz of fluids without vomiting), advance to breads, pastas, crackers, soups, and then other bland foods such as baked chicken or baked potatoes without much seasoning or fat.
Do the following to prevent diaper rash:
- Use barrier creams (Dr. Smith’s, Aquaphor, etc.) liberally with each diaper change.
- Clean the bottom with a soft cloth and use gentle strokes to prevent further abrasion.
Call the office if:
- Your child is dehydrated (look for the following signs):
- Urine output is less than every 8 hours.
- Your child has decreased saliva, poor skin tone or inability to form tears.
- Your child just lies around, has difficulty giving responses, is not talking to you, and/or is unable to walk around.
- Your child has severe abdominal pain or pain localized to right lower quadrant.
- There is green or bloody emesis.
- Your child begins sustained heavy breathing for greater than an hour.
- Your child has taken only Pedialyte for longer than twenty-four hours.
- There are other symptoms such as ear pain or burning with urination.
- Your child has had recent head trauma or has ingested something toxic.
- Always call if you are worried about the condition of your child and need more guidance.
Think of your child as a closed fluid container. What comes out must be gradually replaced or they will eventually become dehydrated. Most of the vomiting illnesses cause intense vomiting in the beginning that gradually dissipates over the first twenty-four to forty-eight hours. If we can keep ahead of the fluid loss during that time, usually the vomiting will pass and the threat of dehydration passes with it.