My tummy hurts

October 29, 2015 1:49 am

The dreaded stomach virus will happen to all us.  Vomiting is scary to children and distressing to parents but there are things you can do at home to help your child.

Usually a stomach virus starts out with vomiting.  This is the most awful phase of the virus and can last four to six hours (and sometimes eight).  Most children ask for something to drink right after they throw up and this is NOT a good idea.  Wait for 15-20 minutes since the last episode of vomiting to let the stomach calm.  Then only SIPS of water or Pedialyte. A ‘sip’ for a child would be teaspoon.  Allow one teaspoon every 5 minutes or so.  They may vomit again and if so repeat the same pattern of waiting and sips.  Fever is not uncommon with a virus and Tylenol (acetaminophen) is a little easier on the stomach than Motrin (ibuprofen).  Diarrhea will likely accompany the vomiting.  DO NOT use over the counter diarrhea remedies in children.  They can prolong the duration of the diarrhea and some contain ingredients that are similar to aspirin.  We all know that children can not have aspirin.  After your child has kept sips down for an hour, you can advance to larger volumes of fluids, popsicles included.  After three hours of no vomiting you can advance their diet to a bland diet (crackers, toast.  Avoid spicy and fatty foods like French fries, nuggets, pizza).  Milk is questionable.  I advise my parents that if you are sure the vomiting has resolved-trial a little milk.  And as always we recommend the BRAT diet-banana, rice, applesauce and toast for 24 hours following a viral episode.

When do you need to worry?  If your child can not keep down sips of fluids, if they are not urinating, making tears, their lips and tongue are dry, their eyes are sunken, if they are lethargic or have a high persistent fever they need to be seen by your child’s provider and may need ER care for IV fluids.

Most of these illnesses resolve on their own in a day or so.  Thank goodness!!