Babysitting: Dealing With Vomiting
Kids might vomit (throw up) for lots of reasons. Most often, vomiting is caused by a stomach virus.
Vomiting can make kids lose important fluids, salts, and minerals. To counter that, you need to keep the child hydrated.
Let the parents know if a child has vomited, especially if the child cannot keep clear fluids down.
What to Do
If a younger child is vomiting:
- Every 15 minutes, give the child 1-2 tablespoons of an electrolyte solution, clear broth, or diluted juice. You can also offer an ice pop.
- If the child vomits after drinking the electrolyte solution, clear broth, or diluted juice, wait 20-30 minutes and start over.
If an older child is vomiting:
- Give the child clear fluids such as water, electrolyte solution, or clear broth. Be sure the child drink the fluids slowly.
If an infant throws up or a child continues to vomit repeatedly or has abdominal pain or fever, call the parents right away.
To help prevent vomiting, avoid overfeeding kids — especially babies.
To avoid spreading germs that cause stomach viruses, wash your hands a lot. Make sure kids wash their hands before eating, after using the bathroom, or after playing outside.
Reviewed by: Kate M. Cronan, MD
Date reviewed: May 2013