Vomiting in Kids – Types, Causes & Treatment

Find out what causes vomiting in children and infants, and what you should do.

Vomiting in Kids – Types, Causes & Treatment
Vomiting in Kids – Types, Causes & Treatment

Your child wakes up in the morning and refuses to touch his breakfast. For a child who is generally happy and fun-loving, he seems fussy and cranky. Then suddenly out of the blue, he throws up all that he has eaten since morning. While vomiting helps in getting rid of undigested food, you should be concerned when you notice frequent vomiting in your child. Sure the stomach is being cleaned the natural way but frequent bouts of vomiting should get you worried.

During a vomiting bout, your kid will expel the contents of his stomach through the mouth. There can be many reasons for vomiting like gastritis, food poisoning, overeating and injury to the head. Some forms of cancers are responsible for vomiting and therefore the probable cause should be explored quickly.

Vomiting in kids

Types of Vomiting Your Child Can Experience

Your child can experience the following types of vomiting:

1. Posseting

If you are breastfeeding your child, it is common for the baby to throw up tiny amounts of milk immediately after every feed.

2. Projectile Vomiting

When your baby brings the contents of her stomach forcefully out, it is known as projectile vomiting. Although the volume may seem quite large, the vomit generally consists only of the last feed your baby has had. This kind of vomit may happen intermittently but can be a matter of concern if it happens after every feed.

3. Reflux

Young kids generally face this kind of vomiting. This happens when the valve at the top of the baby’s stomach opens up unintentionally. This causes the stomach contents to travel in a reverse manner up the esophagus/food pipe. Reflux in babies is usually harmless and will stop by the time they begin sitting upright or walking.

Causes of Vomiting in Children

The following are some of the common reasons that could cause vomiting in children:

1. Allergy to Certain Foods

2. Gastroenteritis

3. Digestive Problems

4. Food Poisoning

5. Stress and Emotional Upheavals

6. Flu and Other Sicknesses

Symptoms of Vomiting in Kids

Parents should watch out for the following signs and symptoms in children and vomiting can be treated accordingly. They are:

  1. Severe headaches
  2. Nausea
  3. Increased heartbeat
  4. Pale skin
  5. Exhaustion and listlessness
  6. Low appetite
  7. Dehydration
  8. Drooling or spitting
  9. Irritability
  10. Diarrhea
  11. Low-grade fever
  12. Giddiness
  13. Fussiness and sleepiness
  14. Abdominal pain or swelling
  15. Frequent retching (attempting to vomit forcibly)

Dehydration is a prominent and noticeable side effect of vomiting in children and the common symptoms of dehydration are:

  • Too much sleep
  • Gaunt eyes
  • Less or no tears
  • Tiredness
  • Dry Mouth
  • Deep, hurried breathing
  • Reduced rate of urination
  • Reduction in diapers wet in a day
  • Damp hands and feet

When Should You Call the Doctor?

It is important to seek medical advice immediately by calling your doctor when you notice the following symptoms in your child:

  • Bile or blood in the vomit
  • Uncontrolled retching and gagging
  • Stomach ache
  • Continuous vomiting
  • Body temperature above 104°C
  • Blood in stool
  • Projectile vomiting
  • Lethargy or slow to respond