How to Stop Vomiting in Your Infant or Toddler

The solution to how to stop vomiting is to know what is causing the vomiting.

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Baby who vomits after feeds

It is normal for babies to vomit or spill after feeds - we call that gastroesophageal reflux (GER) - treatment for reflux in the first instance is related to positioning your baby - read more.

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Infant or Toddler Vomits with a Fever

Sometimes infants and toddlers will vomit when they are unwell with a fever.

If the vomiting is due to gastroenteritis, which is an infection which commonly causes vomiting and diarrhea in children, the treatment is to give fluids. Sometimes babies and toddlers cannot keep the fluids down because of the vomiting and studies have shown that a single dose of ondansetron, an anti-sickness agent, by mouth can reduce the vomiting and allow children to drink enough fluids to prevent them being admitted to hospital.

If your infant or toddler is very unwell, vomiting and irritable with a fever and seems very sick, he may have a serious illness, such as meningitis. In this case, you need to seek medical attention immediately and the solution to how to stop vomiting will be by treating the underlying infection. To find out about signs of a serious illness, click here

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Baby or Toddler Vomiting Bile (green vomit)

Green vomiting is due to bile and is a sign of obstruction in the bowel and the solution is to have appropriate surgery - read more. Seek urgent medical attention

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Summary of How to Stop Vomiting

  • treat the underlying cause of vomiting
  • in children with gastroenteritis, a single dose of ondansetron has been shown to improve symptoms and help them drink enough fluids to maintain their hydration

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References

  • Freedman SB, Adler M, Seshadri R, Powell EC. Oral ondansetron for gastroenteritis in a pediatric emergency department. N Engl J Med. 2006 Apr 20; 354 (16): 1698-705
  • Ramsook C, Sahgum-Carreon I, Kozinetz CA, Moro-Sutherland D. A randomized controlled trial comparing oral ondansetron with placebo in children with vomiting from acute gastroenteritis. Ann Emerg Med. 2002 Apr; 39(4):397-403
  • Cubeddu LX, Truijillo LM, Taimaciu I, Gonzalez V, Guariguata J, Seijas J, Miller IA, Paska W. Antiemetic activity of ondansetron in acute gastroenteritis. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 1997 Feb; 11(1):185-91

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Last reviewed 26 May 2011

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Dr Maud MD

Dr Maud MD (MBChB, FRACP, FRCPCH), a specialist pediatrician, provides health information and medical advice for parents of babies and toddlers. Read more about Dr Maud.



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