Vomiting and Diarrhea - Davidson County Health Department

Davidson County
Health Department
Vomiting and Diarrhea
What is vomiting?
Vomiting is the forceful throwing up of the contents of the stomach. This is not the same thing as
“spitting up” that babies do after taking formula. Vomiting can occur after intense coughing.
Vomiting usually indicates an illness and many times the illness is contagious.
What is diarrhea?
Diarrhea is bowel movements that are very runny and frequent. Diarrhea may appear as teacolored water after all contents of the colon have been eliminated. Diarrhea usually indicates an
illness and many times it is contagious. A child may also have a temperature, headache, feel bad.
When should I contact my Health Care Provider?
If your child has any of the symptoms below:
 Bloody diarrhea or vomit
 Unable to eat or drink for several hours
 No urine in 6 hours or more, dry diaper for 6 or more hours, lack of tears when crying, dry
mouth, swollen eyes = this can indicate dehydration.
 Belly pain that comes and goes and is severe
 Fever of 102 degrees or greater
 Fever of 101 degrees for more than 3 days
 Change in behavior; confusion, lethargic, unable to arouse
The risk of dehydration is greater in young children who have vomiting and or diarrhea.
How can I help my child to feel better?
 Strongly encourage fluids to drink. Clear liquids are best. You can offer popsicles or icy
pops, jello or Pedialyte if recommended by your Health Care Provider
 If child is running a fever, avoid milk products (unless baby is nursing or taking formula).
Milk products can sour and cause more vomiting/diarrhea when high fevers.
 Do not allow your child to eat high fat foods until completely recovered or beverages with
a high sugar content.
 Do not give your child any over the counter medicines for diarrhea unless told to do so by
the Health Care Provider.
When can my child return to school or daycare?
Your child may return to school or daycare 24 hours after the last vomiting or diarrhea and 24
hours after the temperature has returned to normal. Since having vomiting and diarrhea can cause
weakness, it is often much better to keep the child home until the child feels like eating and
drinking and doing homework and or playing.
PO Box 439, Lexington, NC 27293
(336) 242-2300