Vomiting and Diarrhea - COLDS, COUGHS, AND SORE THROATS

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					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.

     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

       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

       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.

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