A vomiting toddler can be difficult to feed but it is required to help promote recovery. Even if the toddler throws up most of the liquids and food taken in, he/she still obtains some nutrition from these. It is vital to keep a toddler properly nourished while he/she is sick to ensure that he/she will not develop severe dehydration.
The vomiting can be an indication of certain illnesses. In case the child only vomits once or twice, it can be triggered by motion sickness or excessive crying. Nevertheless, if the toddler vomits repeatedly, the cause might be bacterial or viral, food allergy, food poisoning or a type of infection such as urinary tract infection, ear infection or even pneumonia. If you suspect that the cause can be managed at home such as the simple flu virus, you have to ensure that the child is properly nourished and hydrated. If you want to learn more about suitable first aid measures, click here.
How to manage vomiting among toddlers
It is vital to introduce the toddler to food and beverages in steps while he/she is vomiting. During the initial stage of the illness in which the toddler is throwing up every 5-30 minutes, do not attempt to provide the child with anything other than small sips of water. Once the vomiting subsides to every hour or so, you can provide liquid sustenance to the child. Once the child has stopped vomiting, you can start to provide simple, easy to digest solids.
When providing liquids to a vomiting child, it is recommended to stick with simple beverages. You can start with water and then an oral electrolyte solution or a sports drink. Those who are still breastfed can be given breast milk. Soda and juices should not be given since they contain sugar that will only worsen the dehydration.
Once the child is well enough to consume solid foods, you can start with vegetable stock or light chicken. Bland foods can also be given such as saltine crackers, toast, dry cereal, rice, fruit, yogurt and applesauce. Do not provide fried or fatty foods since they can irritate the stomach of the child.
Important considerations to bear in mind
In some cases, providing the child with food while vomiting will only make it worse. Once you suspect that the toddler consumed something that should not be eaten such as cleaning products or medications, bring him/her to the emergency department right away.
If you suspect a medical condition that is serious than a simple flu bug, consult a doctor or bring the child to the hospital. If the vomiting could not be controlled within a few hours and show signs of dehydration such as sunken eyes, fast heart rate and listlessness, he/she should be given intravenous fluids at the hospital.