Monday, March 5, 2012

Clear fluids for vomiting

     In the Winter, we see and hear about many children with vomiting from the "stomach flu". One of the hallmarks of treatment is doing clear liquids while you have nausea and vomiting. I want to clarify some things about this instruction to help you avoid potentially making the situation worse. Remember to avoid milk, dairy (cheese and yogurt), and greasy foods (chicken nuggets, french fries, hamburgers, etc.) during the illness.
     For infants and young children, Pedialyte(r) is the best option. It has an ideal combination of sugars and salts for infants and young children. We want your child to take enough to stay well hydrated (urinating at least every 6 hours, tears if they cry, moisture in their mouth). If your child will take as many ounces in a day of what they normally would drink, that is great. If your child is 18-24 months of age and will not take the Pedialyte because of the taste, it is okay to try Gatorade(r) or Powerade(r) instead. Some children like the taste better with the sports drinks.
     For older children, water, Gatorade(r) or Powerade(r), lemon-lime sodas, or ginger ale are all likely to be well tolerated. Two big things to mention: the bubbles of carbonated sodas (7-Up(r), etc.) are NOT easy on an upset stomach. It is better to let the soda "go flat": pour it into a cup or glass then leave it out on the counter for a while before drinking it. Also, sometimes if it is cold, it is worse for the nausea. Letting the soda be flat and at room temperature is most likely have it not bother the stomach.
     Call your doctor's office if you have further questions about how to help your child through a vomiting illness.

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