One of the main reasons for vomiting in children happens to be viral gastroenteritis, a viral infection that occurs in the stomach or gastrointestinal tract. Some of the other common causes for the condition include stomach upset (usually caused by another condition like diarrhea), other infections related to the ears, airways, throat, chest, appendix and urinary tract, and fever etc.
Vomiting is not a disease or disorder that can be treated. Rather, it is a symptom that can only be controlled with medications and home remedies. Many children find it hard to take medications when they experience frequent bouts of vomiting. In these cases, it is best considered to opt for home remedies that can reduce the vomiting to an extent and offer extended relief from the same until the child recovers from the illness causing the symptom.
Effective Remedies For Vomiting In Children
Here are some of the most common home remedies often recommended for children suffering from frequent bouts of vomiting. Note that these remedies would only help in controlling the symptoms to an extent. If the vomiting does not cease even after trying these remedies out, it would be wise to show the child to a doctor to ascertain the exact cause for the condition and find out alternate ways to stop the vomiting.
1. Reduce Food Intake
Frequent bouts of vomiting would make the stomach walls inflamed and more sensitive to the foods that are consumed. Eating or drinking too much would further aggravate the stomach walls by stretching them. And this would further aggravate the condition and its related symptoms.So make it a point to reduce the amount of food you give the child during this period.
Limit all kinds of solid foods from his/her diet until he/she stops vomiting for at least 12 hours.Do not force the child to eat or drink if he/she does not feel like it. Trying to force feed would only increase nausea and vomiting. Instead, let him/her rest for some time and then try giving him/her some food afterwards.
2. Switch To Liquids
Refrain from feeding the child solid foods for at least 12 hours after he/she has stopped vomiting. You can switch to liquids to make sure his/her energy levels are replenished during this period. The best options would include gelatin, clear broths, soups and flavored ice creams.
3. Switch To Bland Foods
Children suffering from frequent bouts of vomiting are often prescribed the BRAT diet (bananas (B): rice (R): applesauce (A): toast (T)) to curb the condition and control its symptoms to an extent. Avoid feeding the child foods that would irritate the stomach lining and increase vomiting. Rather, feed him/her bland foods like clear soups, boiled potatoes, bananas, dry toast, rice, ginger ale and crackers etc.
Maintain this diet for about 48 hours and slowly switch to other foods in addition to increasing the quantity. Note that continuing the BRAT diet for extended periods can cause nutritional deficiencies. Therefore, it is considered best to switch to a normal diet as soon as the child starts feeling better and has not vomited for more than 48 hours.
4. Try Over The Counter Medications
Children aged above 8 years can be given certain OTC medications to curb vomiting and its symptoms. Most of these medications would contain a substance called Calcium Carbonate which is instrumental in controlling vomiting and nausea. Opt for syrups and chewable tablets that are easier to swallow when compared to tablets and capsules.
5. Keep The Child Hydrated
Frequent bouts of vomiting can leave the body dehydrated and tired. In order to promote hydration, encourage the child to drink fluids in small quantities. Some of the best liquid choices you can opt for include clear broths, diluted fruit juices, frozen juice pops, clean sodas and breast milk (for infants).If the child vomits immediately after consuming the liquid, wait for at least half an hour before trying to feed him/her again.
Do not give too much plain water as this would only fill the stomach without replenishing the electrolyte levels in the body. Substitute water with clear liquids and encourage the child to take small sips of these liquids at regular intervals throughout the day until the symptoms of the condition recede (and the child can be given semi-solid or solid foods).
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6. Reduce Potential Triggers
Nausea and vomiting can be further aggravated by factors like smoke, perfumes, cooking smells, heat, humidity and a stuffy room etc. It is considered essential to reduce these potential triggers until the child stops vomiting and recovers from the illness completely.
Try to keep the child’s room cool at all times. Open a window to let air in at regular intervals throughout the day. Install a humidifier to maintain the moisture levels indoors. Avoid using perfumes, deodorants and room fresheners that could act as potential triggers. Stop cooking foods that can produce odors which can in turn trigger intense bouts of vomiting. And try to keep the child in bed until he/she recovers for in certain cases, sudden movements can also trigger vomiting and nausea.
7. Encourage The Child To Sleep/Rest
In certain cases, encouraging a child to sleep can help reduce vomiting by emptying the stomach and curbing the feeling of nausea. Frequent bouts of vomiting would most surely drain the child and he/she would readily fall asleep if asked to do so. Do not wake him/her up in between. Rather, let him/her sleep peacefully and wake up on his/her own. Try feeding him/her some liquids afterwards.
8. Care For The Child
In addition to draining the child off his/her physical strength, frequent bouts of vomiting can trigger profuse sweating. Each vomiting episode would leave the acidic taste of the vomit in the mouth for some time. When combined with the odor of sweat, this could trigger more episodes. Therefore, it is considered wise to change the child’s clothing every time he/she vomits.
Dress the child in loose, airy and comfortable clothing that does not trap moisture. In addition to this, have a couple of soft towels handy in order to wipe the child’s neck and face after he/she vomits. Switch on the fan or open a window after every vomiting episode in order to air out the room and remove the odor of vomit.
9. Stop Other Medications
Avoid giving the child any other medication until he/she has recovered completely. This would essentially mean avoiding the medications for other pre-existing medication conditions. These medications may irritate the stomach and aggravate the condition. Talk to a doctor about other possible alternatives (for the other conditions) until the child stops vomiting and recovers from the symptoms completely.