Like fever, vomiting and diarrhea are not illness themselves, but are common symptoms of many other common illnesses of childhood. The most common cause of vomiting and diarrhea in children is a stomach or intestinal infection, typically caused by a virus, but occasionally can be caused by a bacteria or parasite. These viruses are contagious, so typically other children or family members will have it as well. Other illnesses that can cause vomiting and diarrhea include:
The following signs indicate a need to contact the child's physician:
It is important to prevent dehydration. Make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids when they are sick (even though they may not be thirsty) such as an oral rehydration solution. Nursing mothers should continue to breastfeed. If your child is suffering from diarrhea, avoid sugar-based beverages such as sports drinks, soda, or juices. The sugar can draw water into the intestines and away from the rest of the body, making the diarrhea worse and increasing the risk of dehydration. Additionally, these beverages may not contain electrolytes that need to be replenished.
Oral-rehydration suggested scheduled:
Once nausea and vomiting have subsided you can resume a normal diet such as breastfeeding, formula (½ strength for 2 days), or solid foods (avoid high fat foods)
The following are examples of over-the-counter (OTC) products that can be used to treat the symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea:
* Active ingredients: ingredients in a medication that produce a therapeutic response
** Oral rehydration solutions are helpful medications for keeping your child hydrated however, they will not stop diarrhea
Note: This information is intended to provide readers with health information. The information provided is not a substitute for consultation with a healthcare provider. Brand names included on this Web page are provided for examples only. Their inclusion does not mean that they are endorsed by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.