DR. BILL'S KIDS - Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine
DIARRHEA AND VOMITING TREATMENT
 
When Should I Call My Doctor?
Some cases of diarrhea require medical attention.  Diarrhea can quickly deplete the body's supply of water and electrolytes (such as sodium and potassium) that tissues need to function.  People who are very young may have difficulty replacing lost fluids.  Also, when diarrhea lasts for several weeks or contain blood, a serious illness may be the cause.  In these cases, you should contact your pediatrician immediately.
SIGNS OF DEHYDRATION IN YOUNG CHILDREN INCLUDE:
  • Sunken eyes or cheeks
  • No or decreased tear production
  • Dry mouth and tongue
  • Decreased number of wet diapers
  • Irritability or listlessness
  • Skin that stays pinched instead of   flattening out after being pinched
 
 
 
Vomiting and Nausea Treatment
Most of the time, nausea and vomiting go away on their own as quickly as they started and can be managed at home.  Treatment for nausea and vomiting usually involves medication to decrease the nausea and fluid replacement for hydration.  The most important thing to manage for treatment at home is to drink fluids.  Fluid intake helps correct electrolyte imbalance, which may stop vomiting.  This means drinking fluids, which may be the farthest thing from a child's mind, but it is vital to prevent your child from becoming dehydrated from fluid loss.
Start with small amounts, such as 1 ounce or less at a time for children.  Only use clear liquids (such as clear soup broth or Pedialyte).  Colas, tea, fruit juice, and sport drinks will not correctly replace fluid or electrolytes lost from vomiting, nor will plain water.  In addition, plain water will not replace electrolytes and may dilute electrolytes to the point of seizures. AVOID MILK AND ANY DAIRY PRODUCTS! They can make a child's nausea and vomiting worse.
Recommended directions to stop vomiting before you call the pediatrician:
  • If the child is old enough, give him/her a dose of Benadryl.  This medication aids in getting rid of nausea.
  • Give the child 5cc of a clear liquid and wait to see if the child vomits.  If the child does not vomit, then wait 5-10 minutes and give another teaspoon or 5cc of the liquid.  As long as the child keeps this down, you can continue the process by slowly adding more liquid and waiting less time between teaspoons.  If the child vomits, you must start the process over.  DO NOT let the child have a full cup of something to drink!  Children tend to "gulp" down too much liquid at one time, and this caused more vomiting.
After 24 hours of fluid diet without vomiting, begin a soft-bland solid diet such as the BRAT diet:  Bananas, rice, applesauce without sugar, toast, pasta, and potatoes.  None of these foods should continue at least a couple of days in order for the stomach to get back to normal.