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Vomiting and/or Diarrhea

Gastroenteritis is also known as a stomach bug. It is most likely caused by a virus. Some children experience both vomiting, some children experience diarrhea, and some children experience both. Most episodes of gastroenteritis resolve over a couple of days, though occasionally it can last as long as a week. Fever may or may not accompany gastroenteritis.

*Vomiting is defined as forceful emptying (throwing up) of a large portion of the stomach's contents through the mouth.
*Diarrhea is defined as a sudden increase in the frequency and looseness of bowel movements (BMs) which are usually watery in nature.


The main goal in treating gastroenteritis is to prevent dehydration.
    For bottle-fed infants, give 1 tablespoon of Pedialyte every 5 minutes. After 4 hours without vomiting, increase the amount. After 8 hours without vomiting, return to regular formula.
  • For children older than 1 year, give 1 tablespoon of Pedialyte or Gatorade every 5 minutes (Popsicles can also be given). After 4 hours without vomiting, increase the amount. After 8 hours without vomiting, add solids.
  • For children eating solid foods, foods like bananas, rice cereal, applesauce, white bread, and saltine crackers are good for combatting diarrhea. However, children may not have an appetite for several days with the illness.
  • It is more important to give fluids than solids.
  • Avoid giving medications (especially anti-diarrheal medications) and fruit juices. The sugar in juice can make diarrhea worse.
baby vomit

Call the Office If Your Child Exhibits:

  • Signs of dehydration (no urine for more than 8 hours, no tears with crying, and very dry mouth or no saliva).
  • Blood in stool or vomit.
  • Fever greater than 104ºF.
  • Bilious (yellow or green) in the vomit.
  • Fever, lethargy, or an enlarged liver.
  • Continuous abdominal pain.
  • Crying for more than 2 hours (especially if the abdomen is swollen).