Health-U-Cation. Vomiting

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12 am vomit sheet change. Round the clock vomits. Projectile vomits. Milk vomits. What the Vomit?!

Not sure why your child is vomiting? Sometimes it can be hard to identify, as vomiting can be caused by a range of things such as a virus, stomach bug, food poisoning or allergies to something which has been eaten.

However, the most common reason for vomiting is Gastroenteritis (gastro), an infection of the bowel which causes diarrhoea and vomiting. While the vomiting may only last a couple days, diarrhoea can last between five to seven days.

It is important to note that if you have a baby under six months old and you think they have gastro, you must visit your regular GP as babies have a higher risk of dehydration.

Some symptoms of dehydration in a baby include:

  • sunken eyes
  • a sunken soft spot (fontanelle) on a baby’s head
  • few or no tears when they cry
  • a dry mouth
  • fewer wet nappies
  • dark yellow urine

Additionally, any child older than six months that is showing symptoms of gastro should see a GP if they:

  • keep vomiting
  • are tired or drowsy
  • has ongoing stomach pain
  • has high fevers
  • have blood or mucus in their poo
  • has had diarrhoea longer than seven days
  • have green coloured vomit
  • do not seem to be getting any better
  • or if you are worried for any other reason

Medication is generally not required to treat gastro, as the infection simply has to run its course. When your child has gastro, the most important thing is that they are keeping hydrated, due to vomiting and diarrhoea taking the fluids out of their body.

If you have a baby, you can continue to breastfeed them and should offer babies a drink every time they vomit.

Remember to …regularly wash your hands and wash any clothes and sheets that your child comes into contact with, to decrease the risk of contamination.

Information provided by Family Home Doctors

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