My 18 month old toddler has been vomiting for a week...gastroenteritis or more?

(June 1, 2010)

Toddler Vomiting And Diarrhea

Vomiting and diarrhea in toddlers is usually indicative of gastroenteritis. Gastroenteritis is caused by a viral infection and can be treated easily with care at home and an increase in fluid intake. The viruses that are usually responsible for gastroenteritis in toddlers are the enterovirus, the rotavirus, and viruses that cause upper respiratory infections. In addition to symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting, gastroenteritis may also manifest as a fever and runny nose. One of the most important things to remember while caring for your toddler’s vomiting is that he/she should be given fluids constantly to help prevent dehydration. Diarrhea and vomiting can lead to severe dehydration that can be fatal for your child. It is thus important to keep up fluids and oral rehydration solutions if your child is vomiting. Oral rehydration fluids will be available at your local pharmacy and generally contain a mixture of glucose, water and electrolytes like salt. This will help protect your toddler from dehydration and helps keep his/her blood chemistry stable. If your toddler is breastfeeding, then you can continue to feed him/her and keep up fluid intake in other forms to help control vomiting. An older child may require oral rehydration fluids over and above his/her normal diet.

The dosage of oral rehydration fluid will depend upon your toddler’s age. For instance, if your toddler is a year old, you should give him/her about 200 ml or 7 oz of oral rehydration fluid at hourly intervals. If your toddler is two years of age, then he/she can be given about 120 – 240 ml or 4 – 8 oz of oral rehydration fluids every hour. If your child is suffering from severe vomiting and is unable to retain anything, then you should seek medical attention immediately. In addition, you can try to reduce the dosage of fluids or oral rehydration to make it easier for your toddler. He/she may be able to hold down smaller amounts of fluid at a time. Your child’s doctor may give him/her a dose of ondansetron to help curb the vomiting. Your child’s symptoms should ideally subside in a few days. During this time, ensure that he/she is drinking plenty of fluids and soon your child will be back to normal. Gastroenteritis cannot be treated by antibiotics since it is a viral infection and has to run its course. Bacterial gastroenteritis however, can be treated with the help of antibiotics.

Submitted by P T on June 1, 2010 at 03:59

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