Quite a few small infants as well as older children vomit once or more on any given day but remain otherwise well. It seems that they have a rather more sensitive vomiting centre in the brain. They vomit even if they seem to have no other problem, such vomiting becomes less frequent as these children grow and then stops without any special treatment. Children often vomit if they are excited, unhappy, fearful or because of any illness.
Parents must not show undue anxiety when their child vomits as this tends to make matters worse. Such a scenario often occurs when a child is getting late for his/her school bus and he /she has to finish that glass of milk. Your kid tries to gulp all of it at one shot and throws up everything. Thus, a child should never be forced to eat or drink in such situations. Giving solids before the child is ready for them, or forced feeding in children are other common causes of vomiting. Older children should be put to bad early at night so that they get up well in advance, before the school bus arrives. If your child hates to drink milk in the morning, do not insist on it.
Even if there is enough time,sometimes your kid might refuse to eat anything in the morning. In general, children should not go to school on a empty stomach. So offer your kid some fruit or fruit juices. If he/she still refuses to eat, then give him/her some healthy snacks (fresh fruits, dry fruits, nuts, or a sandwich made with whole wheat bread) to take to school for his short recess.
Some infants swallow a lot of air while feeding and bring out milk quite often after a feed. Burping can help sometimes in this but not always. It is better therefore to check the position of such babies at the breast so that they have enough of the areola (the dark portion of the breast behind the nipple) in their mouth.
If bottle fed, changeover to cup feeding (Which is better than spoon feeding). If you must bottle feed, make sure that the hole in the nipple is not too small.
Some babies bring up curds after each feed or after some of the feeds. They are otherwise well thriving, active and passes urine normally. This is called posseting and is normal. Nothing should be attempted to set it right. You may buy some more bibs!
However, consult your doctor if your child is dehydrated following vomiting. He may treat the cause behind it and give intravenous fluids if required. A dehydrated child looks sick and passes very little urine, dark in color. You should be equally concerned if he shows lack of alertness or behaves as if he was not fully conscious, these could be the symptoms of meningitis.
Three causes that need immediate attention are:
- Obstruction of the intestinal tract due to surgical conditions
- Head injury
Source: Book - Guide to Child Care by Dr R K Anand
To consult Dr R K Anand in person, click here
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