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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Do's and Don'ts when your child is vomiting

OK, so this one I had to use this week.  Our week was full of trials.  First, our cat Sebastian (1 of 4 cats!) had an accident involving a door, the tip of his tail, and my husband.  Needless to say I had to take him to the vet first thing Monday morning.  He ended up having part of his tail amputated and was sent home with antibiotics and pain meds.  Later that evening, he decided to play with his tail and bit on it and made it bleed so I had to drive back to the vet.  He ended up spending the night at the cat hospital.  He is now wearing a cone on his head to keep him from biting his tail.  His stitches come out in a week.

Then, on Tuesday evening, our son started vomiting.  He woke up on Wednesday morning at 4 am vomiting again.  He was fine the rest of Wednesday but vomited again Wednesday evening.  He went to the doctor early Thursday morning and the doctor gave me some tips on how to keep him hydrated and also what kind of solid foods he is allowed to eat for now.  I also got some tips from the book The Complete and Authoritative Guide: Caring for Your Baby and Young Child.  I got the book FREE from Publix when I signed up for their Baby Club.

  • ...Provide plenty of fluids.  Examples are water, Gatorade or Powerade, Pedialyte, Lactose Free Milk for those children who can't go without it (like my baby!) 
  • ...Provide certain solid foods like bananas, apple sauce, saltine crackers, cheerios, and white rice.
  • ...Avoid anything with sugar like Sprite or 7Up soda, fruit juice, and Jello.  This will make them go to the bathroom and do #2!  We want to try and avoid diarrhea.
  • ...Check for signs of dehydration like fewer than 3 diaper changes in 24 hrs, dry tears, and dry mouth.

  • ...Provide whole milk.  If your child is asking or crying for milk, give them Lactose Free milk instead.
  • ...Provide any heavy foods like pizza, chicken nuggets, fries, etc.
  • ...Provide anything with sugar.  I repeat this one because our pediatrician stated this is very important to keep the child from getting diarrhea.
  • ...Hesitate!!  If you suspect your child is suffering from dehydration call your pediatrician right away or take your child to the ER.
Below are some guidelines as to how to provide your child with fluids during the first 24 hours:
  • Wait two to three hours after the last vomiting incident before providing fluids.  After that time has lapsed, give the child 1 to 2 ounces of cool water every half hour to an hour for four feedings.
  • If the child is able to keep the water down, then provide 2 ounces of an electrolyte solution alternated with 2 ounces of cool water every half hour for two feedings.
  • If the child is able to keep that down, then add half strength milk or formula (depending on the age) and continue to increase the quantity of fluids slowly to 3 to 4 ounces every three to four hours.
  • After 12 to 24 hours with no additional vomiting, you can gradually return your child to their normal diet but continue to give them plenty of fluids.
I hope this post is helpful.  I know these tips helped me deal with our son's vomiting this week.

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