As parents, we always want our children to be in their perfect health condition. Although they can get sick at times, we feel relieved to know the underlying problems. But if your child or baby has been vomiting lately, it can definitely be alarming. What are the possible causes of vomiting in children and babies?
Despite the fact that vomiting can be a sign of a health problem, it’s good to know that it has been very common on children and babies. Hence, the causes and health problems have been much easier to determine and effective treatments are now available.
Vomiting in Children and Babies
When vomiting occurs, the first and common reason that flickers into a parent’s mind is usually related to stomach and digestion problems. It is actually one of the major possibilities, though. But there are other reasons that could cause vomiting in your child.
Worrying as it may seem, vomiting isn’t always a negative matter. This allows the body to flush out the toxins or other harmful substances that can potentially risk your child’s health. Although some methods and medications to induce vomiting are available, it’s better not to resort to such procedures as they may cause adverse effects which could worsen the condition. If the symptoms and causes seem vague, a visit to your pediatrician is the best thing to do when your kids vomit.
If your child is throwing up, there are a lot of health issues that may have caused it. But what really causes vomiting in children? Take a look at these common reasons.
Known as stomach flu, gastroenteritis occurs when the child gets in contact with objects or people contaminated with gastroenteritis virus. One of its major symptoms is vomiting. It does begin with vomiting and eventually leads to diarrhea, stomach pain, and fever. However, vomiting caused by gastroenteritis usually resolves within 24 to 48 hours.
To prevent your child from such illness, it is essential to help him wash the hands frequently whether your child is just at home or from outside.
2. Food poisoning
Vomiting also takes place when the body detects foreign and harmful substances, particularly from food. We always make sure that every kind of food that goes inside our child’s mouth is clean and safe. But there are times when we’re out of control and toxins can still find its way into our child’s system which can lead to food poisoning. This can be acquired from eating spoiled food, street foods, and even from the dishes in a restaurant.
A bit similar to gastroenteritis, food poisoning can start with vomiting, then diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever. If not treated immediately, other serious digestive problems may occur which can cause vomiting within months.
3. Motion sickness
Motion sickness is one of the most common causes of vomiting. This usually takes place when traveling either by car or plane. The disconnection of the sensors from the ears, eyes, and joints bring about abnormal movements in the inner system that can confuse the brain and hence, can cause nausea. The child might feel some dizziness, upset stomach, and loss of appetite which can all lead to vomiting.
When you are going to board a plane or travel by land, it is important to keep your child as comfortable as possible. Give him a toddler pillow where he could lie down, sing a song, and let your child close his eyes as soon as he starts feeling sick. Don’t let your child read or use any gadgets or devices while traveling.
4. Food allergies
Some children are allergic to particular kinds of food. And if your child is one of those who has food allergies, you should always monitor what your child eats. But if your little one accidentally feeds on to a dish with the ingredient it is allergic to, allergy reactions may occur such as swollen lips, face, eyes, and red marks. Although the effects vary, one of its common reactions is vomiting.
Vomiting in Babies and Children
The causes of vomiting in babies differ from those in children. Babies experience spitting up which is very common for babies when they burp. Some parents confuse spitting up to vomiting. However, these two conditions are unlikely similar.
If you’re a first-time parent, it can be a little difficult to tell whether your baby is throwing up or just spitting up. It is utterly common for babies to spit up every now and then usually after feeding. The milk can come back up when the baby’s stomach gets all filled up which is called as reflux. As you know, their little stomachs don’t function as older children and adults do.
When you’re certain that it is more than just spitting up, vomiting is a different story. Serious health cases might be the reason behind it which require immediate treatment from the doctor. However, other common causes are somehow similar to the vomiting in children.
Babies love to nibble on almost everything. So, when they get their hands and mouths on to something very dirty or objects that can be contaminated with germs, viruses, or bacteria, it can really be uncontrollable. But when your baby swallowed something poisonous, one of its symptoms is vomiting. That’s why you should always make sure that the utensils like spoons and forks and the teething toys are perfectly clean and safe to use.
2. Motion sickness
Just like when children go on a travel, babies may experience motion sickness as well. When the ears detect the motion in the car but the eyes do not correspond, the brain gets confused and then, nausea happens which can lead to vomiting. You can help your infant cope with car sickness or motion sickness with an appropriate infant car seat with cover. A baby car mirror can also help you look after your little one while you’re driving to know if he’s getting a little sick or not.
3. Intestinal obstruction
Intestinal obstruction or small-bowel obstructions can also be one of the reasons why vomiting in your baby occurs. In some cases, this condition is caused by hernia, adhesions, malignancy, Crohn disease, tuberculosis, volvulus, and other parasitic infections. If it is suspected that an infant is suffering from this condition, vomiting is usually accompanied by constipation, distended abdomen, and fever.
Vomiting may also occur due to certain infections in the intestines, stomach, urinary tract, and other parts of the body. If your infant has gone through a surgery, your little one might be more prone to complications and other infections.
Effective Ways to Treat Vomiting
There are ways to stop vomiting in children and babies. If proper treatment is given, you can resolve vomit quickly. Here are some effective ways you can try.
1. Frequent and small amounts of water should be given to your child to prevent dehydration.
2. It is recommended not to give your child solid foods for 24 hours when the vomiting starts. Your child may still have an upset stomach and won’t be able to take solid foods in. He may just throw them up again.
3. Give your child a lot of fluids as much as possible. If he can’t drink them up, you can try to use a straw or give him ice cubes or wet washcloths to suck in.
4. If your child hasn’t vomited after 6 hours, you can give him soft foods like mashed potatoes, soups, rice, and other foods that your child is used to eating. If he can, you can offer your child solid or regular foods.
5. If your child has already been suffering from diarrhea, prevent high-fiber foods and anything that has high sugar content. These kinds of foods may just worsen diarrhea.
1. Continue breastfeeding your baby if he continues vomiting. The breast milk formula has all the essential nutrients and vitamins that can boost your baby’s health. It is best to breastfeed your baby every one to two hours. But if the baby vomits right away after breastfeeding, you can try every 30 minutes for a shorter time like 5 to 10 minutes.
Mother can pump and save more milk using breast milk storage bags and feed her baby with smaller amounts of milk with a spoon or bottle.
2. Oral rehydration solutions are also available for infants. As long as the pediatrician provides a prescription, you can use these oral rehydration solutions to help your infant recover from vomiting.
These are some of the remedies you can try to help your baby or child from vomiting. However, safety precautions should be applied to prevent health risks. You can start by keeping your baby or child’s room tidy to prevent the buildup of germs, viruses, and bacteria. The utensils and toys should always be clean and safe to use.
Hygiene is also an essential matter. Make sure to keep your baby or child’s hands washed as often as possible. Germs and other harmful substances may get into your child’s system with just one touch of a hand. That’s why hand washing is a very effective step to prevent further health issues. If you’re outside, you should always bring a hand sanitizer or alcohol-based hand rubs.
Seek Help from Your Pediatrician
It is normal to worry about your child or baby when vomiting occurs. It is one of the symptoms that imply that there is something wrong with your little one. However, there are effective treatments that you can try to help your baby or child cope with vomiting.
Although vomiting can be a way to flush all the toxins out of the body, it can result in complete discomfort. If not treated immediately, it may cause dehydration, diarrhea, and other serious health problems. When such problems arise, it is best to consult your pediatrician for professional advice.