Occurs when the throat and stomach muscles actively contracting to eject the contents of the stomach. Vomiting in babies should not be confused with reflux, which is the passive spitting up food (see “R”).
It is normal for babies and children to vomit occasionally. It is usually related to gastroenteritis and will pass in a few days. This isn’t harmful unless your child becomes dehydrated.
However, vomiting can sometimes be a sign of another underlying problem, such as a food allergy or a urinary tract infection. More rarely, it can be a sign of something quite serious, such as pneumonia, meningitis, appendicitis or poisoning. It is always best to seek medical attention to rule out anything serious if the vomiting continues for more than a day or is accompanied by other symptoms.
Involuntary “ejection” of stomach contents.
In most cases, you can treat your child safely at home by pushing fluids (including oral rehydration solutions) and watching for signs of dehydration (see “D”).
Consult your doctor or clinic if your child has been vomiting for more than a day.
Seek urgent medical attention if your child is vomiting and:
• Showing signs of dehydration (see “D”).
• Is floppy, lethargic or irritable.
• Has severe pain in the abdomen.
• Has a headache, stiff neck and/or rash.
• Has green vomit.
• Vomit contains blood.