Vomiting Pediatric Care Plan

By David Shafran, MD
Medically reviewed
December 9, 2020

What causes vomiting?

A K Health doctor can help determine the cause of nausea and vomiting which are usually caused by an infection, medicine, or eating contaminated food. These symptoms generally improve on their own within 2-3 days.

Nausea does not always accompany vomiting. Sometimes diarrhea can occur at the same time or after the onset of vomiting. 

If vomiting occurs after a head injury please go immediately to the ER.  If you are concerned your child ingested something poisonous please call Poison Control (1-800-222-1222) or go immediately to the ER.  

Read More About Vomiting Here

How to Treat Vomiting

The main danger from vomiting is dehydration. Treating vomiting means avoiding dehydration and keeping the child comfortable until symptoms resolve on their own.

If a child can drink without vomiting, they should drink small amounts frequently. Oral rehydration solutions such as Pedialyte are ideal. Older children can drink electrolyte-containing drinks such as Gatorade or Powerade.

Avoid sugary drinks like apple juice or sodas, and introduce foods as much or as little as the child can eat. BRAT diets (banana, rice, applesauce, toast) are no longer recommended.

If you are concerned about dehydration or your child can’t keep any liquids down, you may need to take your child to an emergency room to receive fluids through their veins. 

WARNING: Some medicines used for vomiting in older children or adults are very dangerous for young children. DO NOT give your child any medicine unless your doctor has told you to use it for this child. The doctor may give you a medicine to help relieve your child’s vomiting.

Check in with K if…

  • You’d like like to discuss your child’s condition further
  • You’d like help deciding whether or not your child is dehydrated
  • You’d like to discuss what and how much you’re child should drink to stay hydrated

See a doctor in person if….

  • Vomiting does not stop after 2 to 3 days
  • Your child cannot keep any liquids down
  • Your child demonstrates signs of dehydration, which may include:
    • urinating less
    • dry mouth
    • very fussy or sleepy
    • marked decrease in activity
    • few or no tears when crying
    • wrinkled skin
    • sunken eyes
  • Your child has a severe stomachache
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

David Shafran, MD

Dr. Shafran is a board-certified pediatrics physician. He joins K Health from the Cleveland Clinic, where he led a pediatrics practice and completed a fellowship in transplant ethics. He has completed multiple fellowships, including one in pediatric nephrology at Rainbow, Babies & Children's University Hospitals. He received his medical degree from the Sackler School of Medicine in Tel Aviv and completed his medical residency at the Jacobi Medical Center.