Nausea and Vomiting, 4 Years and Older Care Instructions

Nausea and Vomiting, 4 Years and Older: After Your Child's Visit

Your Care Instructions

Most of the time, nausea and vomiting in children is not serious. It usually is caused by a viral stomach flu. A child with stomach flu also may have other symptoms, such as diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. With home treatment, the vomiting usually will stop within 12 hours. Diarrhea may last for a few days or more.

When a child throws up, he or she may feel nauseated, or have an upset stomach. Younger children may not be able to tell you when they are feeling nauseated. In most cases, home treatment will ease nausea and vomiting.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • Watch for and treat signs of dehydration, which means that the body has lost too much water. As your child becomes dehydrated, thirst increases, and his or her mouth or eyes may feel very dry. Your child may also lack energy and want to be held a lot. Your child's urine will be darker, and he or she will not need to urinate as often as usual.
  • Give your child lots of fluids, enough so that the urine is light yellow or clear like water. Avoid orange juice, grapefruit juice, tomato juice, and lemonade. Give your child sips of water or drinks such as Pedialyte or Infalyte. These drinks contain a mix of salt, sugar, and minerals. You can buy them at drugstores or grocery stores. Give these drinks as long as your child is throwing up.
  • Have your child rest in bed until he or she feels better.
  • When your child is feeling better, offer the type of food he or she usually eats.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • Your child seems very sick or is hard to wake up.

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child seems to be getting sicker.
  • Your child has signs of needing more fluids. These signs include sunken eyes with few tears, a dry mouth with little or no spit, and little or no urine for 6 hours.
  • Your child has new or worse belly pain.
  • Your child vomits blood or what looks like coffee grounds.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • Your child does not get better as expected.

Care instructions adapted under license by Slm. This care instruction is for use with your licensed healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.