How to manage acute vomiting in children


father, mother and child on the kitchen

When baby is sick, most moms hit a panic and start frantically to remember what  spoiled or expired products did baby eat. Some rush to do gastric lavage and start giving their child medication. But this is not always the best approach. In addition to the vomiting caused by infection, poisoning, disruption of the internal organs, the child may have bouts of “benign” vomiting which are not associated with serious diseases. For example, your child can get carsick when riding the bus. Sometimes children will induce vomiting, thrusting his fingers deep into his mouth. This can happen just out of interest, resulting in imitation in other children. Other kids may vomit when they are unwilling to use medications or drugs. And vomiting may also occur due to fear visiting the doctor. Finally, vomiting – one of the very effective ways to attract the attention of parents when a child feels excluded from their care.

You´ll need

  • Patience and attention to the child
  • Consulting a neurologist, psychotherapist
  • Means of motion sickness
  • Wet towel, cool drinking water in large doses


  • The most common type of vomiting is due to a disease manifested in disruption of vestibular. As a result, the child may feel sick in the vehicle, on the carousel and even when rotated about, or when he runs on a small circle. Of course, it´s best to prevent vomiting – it would help if you do frequent breaks while driving, place the child in a correct location in a vehicle (where there is less shaking, be sure that he faces the traffic), avoiding games that involves moving in circles, avoiding unpleasant odors that may induce vomiting, avoiding sour fruits (lemon, apple, orange, kiwi), mints. First aid for motion sickness is to remove the child out of the moving vehicle (to stop physical activity) and to ensure the child gets fresh air. In this case, ask your child to breathe deeply and infrequently, and to consider only looking at fixed objects.
  • In infants, vomiting is manifested in frequent regurgitation of food and milk formula. This may occur as a result of overfeeding, swallowing air, poor tolerance formula or sudden changes in body position after sleep, dressing or turning. Regurgitation is also when the baby spits a small amount (5 to 30 ml) half-digested milk. It would help if you consulted a pediatrician to determine the cause of the vomiting although in most cases the cause is known. Normally it all goes away after eight to ten months, when the baby starts to eat solid food, and when the muscular valve at the top of stomach grows and gets stronger. As a rule, when the baby regurgitates but is gaining weight well and urinates normally, then you should not worry too much.
  • Psychogenic vomiting is caused by various emotional factors (anxiety, resentment, fear), you first need to consult a neurologist and psychologist. Typically, this type of vomiting is characterized by easy excitability, vulnerability to stress and very resentful children. Children must also be assessed for symptoms accompanying vomiting like vomiting without abdominal pain, stool disorders, symptoms of intoxication. Once vomiting disappears (do not drink any more medication, baby will get his share of attention, fear recedes before visiting the doctor, etc.) continue this until the retching stops. To calm the nerves is very good tincture of valerian and peppermint (calculated doses – one drop per year of age of the child). Before you give your baby a tincture of herbs, you need to consult a pediatrician.
  • Another case is when the child vomits intentionally by himself. Psychologists advise to ignore the action since the more likely the child is fussed about the more he will continue this bad habit.
  • Finally, vomiting may be caused by visual (saw something disgusting), olfactory (smell strong like the smell of rotting things), taste (very spicy food) irritants. In this case, you just need to stop the impact of unpleasant things to the child. As soon as the feeling of vomiting passes so will the retching.
  • If you have a vomiting child it is important to control yourself and not lash out at him with reproaches, this could only trigger another attack. Assist your child to sit or lay in a comfortable position (if lying down, it is only on one side to avoid moving the vomit to the throat and blocking his airway). Baby’s face should be wiped with a damp cloth or towel and to rinse his mouth with cool drinking water. You must also replace soiled clothing. Drinking should be given a very divided doses – literally a couple of sips at a time. Be sure to monitor the condition of the child and to make sure that vomiting is “benign”.


  • If you notice signs of a baby vomiting, it is necessary to consult with the ENT doctor and neurologist. The fact is that motion sickness is natural in most cases, or it may be a symptom of ear diseases, heart problems, diseases of the stomach and intestines.
  • Mandatory counseling with a physician is required if vomiting in children combined with a high temperature, diarrhea, green vomit, presence of blood in the vomit, and if the child has vomited for more than three times in two hours.

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