Black Rock Publications

Vomiting and Diarrhea

Elin R. Cohen, MD


Vomiting

The goal is to sneak small amounts of liquid into the stomach without irritating the stomach.

Use clear liquids such as Pedialyte (best choice), Powerade, or Gatorade.

If at any step in the process, he/she vomits, just go back to the prior step. Start with 5cc (1 teaspoon) every 15 minutes. You can use a syringe.

If your child tolerates this step for 2 hours, increase to 15 cc (1 tablespoon) every 15 to 20 minutes.

Continue to increase the amounts as tolerated.

If he/she tolerates the clear liquids for several hours, and if he/she is hungry, you may try advancing to light foods. Start with clear broth with noodles, plain toast, or light crackers. Avoid fatty foods.

Do not worry if your child does not eat any solids all day. It is most important that he/she gets fluids as above.

Signs of dehydration: dry mouth and lips, decreased urine, lack of energy. Call the office if your child has abdominal pain, if you have concerns about dehydration, if your child is not improving, or if he/she is continuing to vomit.

IF YOUR CHILD HAS ABDOMINAL PAIN CONTACT THE DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY


Diarrhea

Often the virus moves through the gi tract, and after vomiting there can be diarrhea.

If your child develops diarrhea, give foods that are binding. Foods that are helpful for diarrhea include:

  • Bananas
  • Rice- white starchy rice is best
  • Apples- but not apple juice
  • Toast
  • Also- saltines, broth with noodles, Pedialyte, Gatorode, or Powerade

For babies, it is often helpful to change to one of the anti-diarrhea formulas.

Watch for signs of dehydration, and protect the skin from irritation with aquaphor or a diaper cream.

Ilex is an especially effective cream for severe skin irritation. It is available at the pharmacy without a prescription, but sometimes the pharmacist has to order it. When you apply it, put a layer of Vaseline or aquaphor over the layer of Ilex.

Sometimes, especially after several days of diarrhea, the cells in the stomach that help digest milk can be temporarily affected. It may be helpful to switch to Lactaid milk for 1 or 2 weeks until the cells are restored.

Call the office if there are any concerns of dehydration, if there is blood in the stool, or if you have questions.

IF YOUR CHILD HAS ABDOMINAL PAIN CONTACT THE DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY


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