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Should a Child Eat or Drink if They're Vomiting?

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Should a Child Eat or Drink if They're Vomiting?

Aug 12, 2021

When children catch a stomach bug, vomiting is normal and it shouldn't last more than 24 hours. On today's Health Minute, pediatrician Dr. Cindy Gellner explains why you should not force children to eat after they've vomited, and gives tips for keeping your child hydrated.

Episode Transcript

Interviewer: Your child is sick and vomiting. The good news is it usually stops in about 6 to 24 hours. But until then, how can you keep them hydrated, and should you make them eat? Pediatrician Dr. Cindy Gellner, what advice do have for parents?

Dr. Gellner: When your child has a stomach virus, vomiting and diarrhea can be pretty intense for the first day or so. It's really important to keep kids hydrated during this time. Many parents get concerned because their kids don't want to eat. Not eating is a good thing. If you force them to, they could lose it all over again. Don't give them solid foods for about eight hours once they've started vomiting. Clear liquids only. Give babies Pedialyte and older kids should drink sports drinks and just small amounts at a time. Once they can hold food down, give them things like yogurt, bananas, rice, apple sauce, toast. Definitely hold off on the burgers and pizza for a few days.

updated: August 12, 2021
originally published: April 26, 2018