For the safety of your family, this information is intended for use by North Seattle Pediatrics patients exclusively.
Vomiting in children commonly occurs in the early stages of an intestinal viral infection (‘stomach flu’) and more rarely may be a sign of food poisoning. Vomiting may also be a sign of rare but serious conditions such as intestinal obstruction or appendicitis.
If your child is NOT vomiting green material (bile) and does NOT have a high fever or severe abdominal pain, it is safe to try very slow clear fluids as described below. The child may initially vomit several times close together as the stomach empties.
After the child’s initial vomiting has stopped for about an hour, begin re-hydration using small amounts (1 to 2 teaspoons) of clear liquids such as Pedialyte (our first choice for infants), or 1/2-strength Gatorade, or water. Offer these every 5 to 10 minutes while your child is awake. Continue giving a teaspoon every five minutes even if your child still vomits every couple of hours or less. If your child is breastfeeding you may resume nursing, but try limiting the duration and increasing the frequency of nursing.
When vomiting has stopped for eight hours and your child is tolerating 2 ounces of clear liquids at a time, it should be safe to begin feeding your child small amounts of food. Foods that are well-tolerated include carbohydrates such as rice, white bread, white potato, pasta (except whole wheat), jello, rice milk, soy milk, or soy formula. Observe this diet for 24-36 hours, and then resume your child’s regular foods.