Vomiting and diarrhoea in children

by Mar 21, 2018

Babies and toddlers with diarrhoea and vomiting can become dehydrated more quickly than older children so it’s important to know how to look out for signs of dehydration and when to seek medical attention.

What causes diarrhoea and vomiting?

  • A stomach bug
  • Food poisoning
  • Eating something you may have an allergy to

Looking after your child at home

  • Give your child sips of water every 5 minutes until tolerated and then increase fluids
  • You can give your child oral rehydration solution to help to replace the water and salts lost from their because of the diarrhoea and vomiting
  • Once they have stopped vomiting, introduce bland foods
  • Do not give your child anti-diarrhoea medication unless they have seen a doctor first

How do I know if my child is dehydrated?

Dehydration is a sign that your child’s body has lost too much fluid.

  • Sunken eyes
  • Few or no tears when they cry
  • Dark yellow urine
  • A dry mouth

When should I seek medical advice?

If your child is:

  • Vomiting and not keeping anything down
  • Experiencing a fever
  • Has decreased urine output
  • Has severe abdominal pain
  • Has blood or mucous in their poo

Or, you are concerned, seek immediate medical care. They may require intravenous fluids (fluids delivered directly into the veins using a drip).

How can I stop diarrhoea and vomiting from spreading?

  • Ensure good hand hygiene: frequently wash your hands using liquid soap and warm running water. Do not share towels as this can spread infection
  • Clean toilet seats, flush handles, taps, surfaces, and door handles daily
  • Avoid sharing personal items such as towels and face cloths
  • Wait at least two week after your child’s last episode of diarrhoea or vomiting to go swimming

NHS Choices 

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