The other day, I got the warning call while driving: “My tummy hurts,” my toddler wailed.
We were just a few minutes away from her dance and tumble class, but before I could even pull into the parking lot, she puked. Smoothie. I don’t have to tell you, it wasn’t pretty.
But besides clean up the car, what was I supposed to do next?
According to KidsDr, it’s best to withhold food or drink for at least 30-45 minutes after a child vomits. During that time, it’s likely that anything that hits the stomach will bounce right back up.
Then, start slow. Clear liquids like Pedialyte for infants – about a tablespoon every 10-15 minutes – or small, frequent sips of Gatorade for toddlers work well. Not only do these liquids replace electrolytes, but they also keep your child hydrated. As they’re able to handle it, you can increase the amount of liquids.
After a 4-6 hour window with no vomiting, you can start to add some other liquids like breast milk or formula for infants and popsicles or chicken soup for toddlers. Make sure they can keep these down before you start on any solid foods.
John Hopkins Children’s Center says most vomiting in children is caused by a virus, so often there’s nothing more to do than let it run its course. However, if it persists for more than 24 hours or is accompanied by a fever, you will want to call your doctor.
If you just go slow, caring for vomiting children is a lot easier than cleaning up after them.