Infant care: How to manage vomiting

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A vomiting infant can cause most parents to worry. It might be an indication of an illness. Remember that there are measures that you should do once a child is vomiting.

Choking prevention

A vital task that you should do for a vomiting infant is to prevent choking. Since infants could not properly control their bodies, you should position the child on his/her side while vomiting. Closely monitor the child until the illness responsible for the vomiting has settled.

Possible causes of vomiting

Vomiting among infants have various causes and the most common is the stomach virus or gastroenteritis.

Vomiting among infants have various causes and the most common is the stomach virus or gastroenteritis. Remember that almost all infants experience this condition at least once in the initial year of life and it is not unusual for a child to have it more than once.

An uncommon cause but relatively serious is pyloric stenosis. This condition develops if the muscles at the base of the infant’s stomach are too thick which prevents milk from moving from the stomach to the intestines.

Is it vomiting or spitting up?

Some find it difficult to differentiate vomiting from spitting up. You can tell the difference by observing the force in which the child is regurgitating.

Since vomiting is brought about by stomach contractions, milk is brought out forcefully through the esophagus. As for spitting up, it is triggered in a passive manner and tends to trickle from the mouth. This is considered normal among young infants and not an issue for concern.

Risk for dehydration

One of the main health risk of vomiting is dehydration. This can occur rapidly among young babies which is why it is vital to closely monitor the child and ensure proper hydration.

You can provide the child with an electrolyte replacement drink. It is recommended to provide the child no more than half an ounce every 20 minutes. If uncertain if a child is dehydrated, simply count the number of soiled diapers produced. In case it is less than 4 in a day, he/she might be dehydrated.

When to seek care

Do not hesitate to consult a doctor if worried about the health of the child. When it comes to vomiting, there are instances when it is best to seek medical care such as:

  • Blood-streaked vomitus
  • Indications of dehydration
  • Fever of 100.4 degrees F or higher

In such instances, the child might require intravenous hydration or further physical assessment to pinpoint the exact cause of vomiting.

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