When anyone in your family comes down with an upset stomach and vomiting, it’s essential to understand the root cause: is it a case of food poisoning, motion sickness, intestinal flu, or an indication of something much more severe?
It’s important to get vomiting under control because it can lead to dehydration, causing a myriad of other health issues.
The question is, when should you treat vomiting with at-home remedies, or when do you need to seek emergency care?
Treating vomiting at home
If a loved one has come down with a minor bug, there are specific measures you can take at home to stop the vomiting and make them feel more comfortable.
Anyone who has recently thrown up needs to take it easy and avoid participating in any physical activities until they are better. Once vomiting has ceased for 15 to 20 minutes, drinking clear liquids (water, Gatorade, or Pedialyte) is an excellent idea to help decrease the likelihood of dehydration.
Once your child can keep liquid down for six hours or so, they can start eating a bland diet consisting of foods such as plain yogurt, bread, or crackers.
When you need to call your pediatrician
If vomiting does not cease and your child continues to throw up, you need to make an appointment to see your child’s doctor.
Your child’s physician may prescribe some over-the-counter or prescription medications to calm the stomach and control the vomiting.
Sometimes you can’t wait on your pediatrician if the vomiting is severe and is accompanied by other symptoms.
When vomiting is serious
The onset of specific symptoms along with vomiting means it’s time to seek emergency care. You should not delay receiving medical attention if you suspect any of the following:
|Dark-colored urine Thirst Dry mouth Dizziness||Dehydration||Yes|
|Nausea Vomiting Stomach cramps Possible fever||Food poisoning||Yes|
|Abdominal pain and cramping Constipation Bloating and inability to pass gas Vomiting||Intestinal blockage||Yes|
|Nausea Vomiting Swelling of lips, face, tongue Diarrhea||Food Allergies||Yes|
|Sharp and severe abdominal pain Fever No appetite Vomiting Nausea||Appendicitis||Yes|
|Rash Diarrhea Vomiting Trouble breathing Seizure Loss of consciousness||Poison or medication overdose||Yes|
|Headache Neck pain Tinnitus (ringing in ears) Dizziness Vomiting Seizures Confusion||Concussion or brain injury||Yes|
Why the color of vomit matters
The color of your child’s vomit can provide clues as to its cause. When you first start throwing up, your vomit is going to resemble what they last ate. If you vomit hours after eating, it will appear orange in color. A green or dark yellow vomit could indicate your child is experiencing a blockage of their intestine, which requires immediate medical attention. It could also mean a person is dehydrated. You may be throwing up blood if your vomit is red or even black, having the appearance of coffee grounds. Either way, it’s a medical emergency.
Vomiting and COVID-19
The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) suggests nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting as symptoms of COVID-19, especially when they coincide with these symptoms:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- Loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
Suppose you suspect a family member has been exposed to COVID-19 and needs a test. In that case, Community First ER offers polymerase chain (PCR testing), a type of molecular test that detects the virus’s genetic material. Using a special nasal swab, we can collect a sample of fluid or mucus from your nose. We can then test your sample utilizing the BioFire® Respiratory 2.1 (RP2.1) Panel to obtain results quickly compared to other testing methods.
Ready when you need us
If your child’s vomiting has not subsided and is accompanied by other concerning signs and symptoms, we are ready to help. You can think of us as your go-to source for pediatric emergency care around the clock, every day of the year.
Our knowledgeable and compassionate staff will take care of your family member and will help detect the source of their vomiting. We also will do all that we can to ensure their comfort. If your child requires transportation to a nearby hospital, we can easily arrange this using our convenient ambulance or helipad services.
We are here to help
At Community First ER, we are committed to providing you the best possible care now and always. We have both adult and pediatric emergency care available. We have a team of medical and surgical specialists that we consult with to help manage our patients and their medical emergencies. We form relationships with local doctors to ensure that our patients have access to the best specialists for their individual needs.
About Community First ER
Emergency health care, especially in the time of a pandemic, is a critical resource. Our commitment is to provide a personal, transparent, and concierge-driven emergency health care experience to our community members. Locally owned and operated by health care providers and partners we trust; we strive to support and create meaningful relationships with those around us. We exist to put your health and wellness first. For more information, visit our website at https://communityfirster.com/ and engage with us on social media:
Emergency health care, especially in the time of a pandemic, is a critical resource. Our commitment is to provide a personal, transparent, and concierge-driven emergency health care experience to our community members. Locally owned and operated by health care providers and partners we trust, we strive to support and create meaningful relationships with those around us. We exist to put your health and wellness first.