Lawndale Christian Health Center Pediatric Acute Illness Handout Vomiting and Diarrhea Vomiting and diarrhea (Gastroenteritis) is an infection usually caused by a virus. Most often it lasts 3-5 days, but can last a week to 10 days. The most important goal is to give your child plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Fever may be treated with Tylenol or with Motrin as directed. Since limiting milk and solid food are often needed to control the vomiting and diarrhea, below are some helpful instructions. FIRST DAY Diarrhea without vomiting 1. Continue to breastfeed, give formula, or feed a bland diet as tolerated. 2. If your child does not feed well, then give 1-2 oz. of clear liquids every 1/2 hour. If tolerated give as much as desired every 1-2 hours. If vomiting 1. Stop all milk and solid foods for 24 hours. 2. Give only clear liquids for 24 hours. The key is small amounts frequently. HINT: Rest the stomach for 1/2 to 1 hour after vomiting. Then give small amounts (1/2 - 1 oz.) of clear liquids every 15 - 20 minutes and double the amount every hour. Once your child is not vomiting for 2-3 hours give as much liquid as desired every 1-2 hours. CLEAR LIQUIDS Pedialyte or Ricelyte (preferred for those under 1 year) Gatorade, Water, Diluted apple juice or white grape juice (1/2 strength) Seven-up, ginger ale, or coke with the bubbles stirred out Clear soup broth, Popsicles SECOND DAY If your child is improving, continue the clear liquids and gradually start solid foods. Here are some suggestions. Infants - Restart full strength baby formula. The diarrhea may increase slightly at first. But as long as there is no vomiting and the child is drinking well, continue the formula. Bananas, applesauce, rice, cereal, and strained carrots may be added. Children - Start with bananas, rice, applesauce, toast, jello, crackers, mashed potatoes, or lean meats. If your child does well with these during the day, you may gradually go back to a regular diet. Milk may also be given the second day, but if your child had a moderate, severe, or long-lasting case of gastroenteritis you may want to hold off on milk and milk products for 2-3 days. CALL YOUR DOCTOR OR THE CLINIC WHEN: 1. Your child does not start to get better in 24 hours or the vomiting continues. 2. Your child seems to be getting worse at anytime, or has beginning signs of dehydration - such as dry mouth, no tears, decreased urine output. 3. Your child appears ill or starts behaving differently - unusually irritable or sleepy. 4. You notice blood in the diarrhea/bowel movement.