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Diarrhea is the passing of loose, watery stools.
Vomiting is throwing up food and fluids.
Your child may lose large amounts of fluids during
diarrhea or vomiting. This is called dehydration.
You need to make sure your child drinks enough
liquids to prevent dehydration.
What you should do for vomiting
- Give your child plenty of liquids such as:
- an oral rehydration solution such as Pedialyte®
- ginger ale
- Start by giving your child small amounts: 2 to
3 teaspoons every 10 to 15 minutes until she stops
- After that, slowly increase the amount of liquids by
1 to 2 ounces every 30 to 60 minutes as long as your
child doesn’t throw up.
- Don’t give your child:
- soft drinks (pop)
- fruit juices
- fruit punches
- sports drinks
What you should do for diarrhea
- Your child should drink at least twice as much liquids as
- Give your child an oral rehydration solution such as
- Don’t give your child Pedialyte® for more than 24 hours
without calling her health care provider.
- Give your child food when she feels like eating again as
long as she is not vomiting.
- Keep breastfeeding or formula feeding your infant or
toddler. (Talk with your health care provider about
using formula made to treat diarrhea before you use
- Good food choices for diarrhea are noodles, crackers,
oatmeal, rice cereals, bread or toast, potatoes,
bananas, applesauce, and turkey or chicken.
- Avoid foods that are spicy, sugary or that have
fructose (high-fructose corn syrup).
- Offer your child yogurt with active cultures (such as
Dannon®, Yoplait® or Activia®.)
- Give your child probiotics such as lactobacillus
or acidophilus. Two examples are Culturelle® and
When to call your health care provider
Call your health care provider if your child:
- is younger than 6 months old
- is vomiting and can't keep any liquids down
- has signs of dehydration:
- has a dry mouth
- has no tears when crying
- has sunken eyes
- has a lack of urine (or dry diaper for more than
- is unusually sleepy or fussy
- has a bad stomachache without relief
- vomit has blood in it, vomit is green or vomit that looks
like coffee grounds
- has blood in the stool
- has diarrhea for more than two weeks
- has been exposed to a source of bacterial diarrhea
through travel or food