What are some care measures to take for a nauseated or vomiting child?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,152
    Robin Vick, Assistant Director of Nursing at the Continuum Pediatric Nursing Services, discusses the basic recommendations to help care for a sick child at home including some care measures to take for a nauseated or vomiting child.

    Host: What are some care measures to take for a nauseated or vomiting child?

    Robin Vick: The most common causes of nausea and vomiting for kids are viruses and we talked about how viruses are out there in the world and they can be minimized by the basic prevention of hand-washing and that's one of the reasons especially for GI viruses that hand-washing is so important. Its number thing that you can do to help keep that experience of vomiting away from your child, but what happens if you do have a child who is very sick to his or her stomach and she is vomiting. Vomiting is in most instances self-limited and in the vast majority of cases within 12 hours, the vomiting should be over. A parent can maintain the care of the child in most situations well at home by just keeping the child in safe view. Especially a child who can't ambulate on his or her own particularly an infant; keeping the child in view so that you are there when the vomiting occurs.

    Sometimes kids benefit from having the head of their bed up a little bit that may ease the pressure on the stomach and help to minimize the feeling of nausea. Parents should not worry in the first 12 hours of vomiting, that they need to be feeding there child. In fact feeding in the case where a child is vomiting for at least 12 hours of active vomiting, it's not going to be helpful.

    If child wants to take sips of clear liquids that certainly to be encouraged, but don't offer foods, don't offer any milk products in this particular interval of the illness. Milk has the ability to promote nausea in an upset stomach. So maintain vigilance and close proximity to your child during the vomiting. Watch for the number of vomits that may occur and hopefully within about 12 hours that virus, that's what how they work, will begin to subside and leave the child's body and at that point maintaining rest and doing comfort measures that parents are so good at and offering liquids at regular small intervals will be very, very helpful in preventing the number one worry that parents and doctors both share and that is dehydration.

    The doctor may have suggested the use of a product called Pedialyte. Pedialyte is particularly useful because it contains the electrolytes that are typically lost when a child vomits. Its not good idea to offer just large -- first of all large volumes of anything at once on an upset stomach because the quantity alone will may be agitate the tummy again and promote vomiting in a child who was getting well. So frequent offerings of small volumes of fluids that have electrolytes and sugars in them, these are things like Gatorade, juices, tea. Certainly don't offer saltwater for child to drink, that can set up another kind of circumstance where the body has become dry by loosing fluids through vomiting. But you are offering lots of salts which help to move the fluids that are in the body into the tissues and not out into the system that the child needs. So rely on just commonly offered Pedialytes and juices. If vomiting persists for more than 12 hours, it's time to call your doctor. For a child under six months of age, all the recommendations that I am going to be making are founded in communicating with your physician at the very beginning of that illness. Kids under six months, some might say eight or ten months have very distinct needs, its different from kids of other ages and you should call your doctor if the vomiting is an infant, at the very beginning. For other older kids if the vomiting is bit prolonged for more than 12 hours, if there is no urine output in 8 or 12 hour, definitely call your physician right away. Host: To watch the other segments in this video series or for how-to-videos on almost any other topic, visit www.