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How to Keep Children Hydrated When They Are Throwing Up

By Jackie Lohrey
Use an eye dropper or a teaspoon to measure and administer liquids.

Repeatedly throwing up always carries with it the potential for dehydration. Because younger children have fewer fluids to lose and are more susceptible to dehydration, it is essential to start preventative measures early, before symptoms have a chance to develop. Never be afraid to contact your doctor if you have questions or if your child is throwing up two to three times an hour for several hours. If throwing up occurs less frequently, however, you can take steps at home to keep your child hydrated and help her feel more comfortable.

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Start small and work your way up. Offer your child 1 tsp. of liquid every minute to a few sips every two to three minutes, increasing the amount you offer slowly and only if he does not throw up again; if he does, wait again and then start again, this time giving him only half the original amount.

Offer plain water, ice chips or breast milk only if your child throws up once or twice. Otherwise, replace nutrients that can cause dehydration by giving your child an oral rehydration solution rather than plain water. Purchase commercial rehydration liquids, or make your own by combining 8 tsp. of sugar and 1 tsp. of salt in 4 cups of lukewarm water, suggests FamilyDoctor.org.

Tailor the liquid to your child’s increasing tolerance level and taste preference. Start with water or a rehydration solution, then slowly add clear broth, noncarbonated fruit drinks or frozen juice bars.

Things You Will Need

  • Teaspoon
  • Water or ice chips
  • Oral rehydration solution
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Clear broth
  • Noncarbonated fruit drinks
  • Frozen juice bars

Tip

If you make your own rehydration solution, give your child a banana as soon as she can keep down solid food to replace lost potassium. Measure and record the amount of liquid you give your child, as well as whether and how long she keeps it down. This information can prove valuable if you end up taking your child to see the doctor.

Warning

Wait 30 to 60 minutes after your child vomits before offering fluids. This decreases the chances that she will lose more fluid than she takes in by throwing up again, and decreases the potential for dehydration.

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About the Author

Based in Green Bay, Wisc., Jackie Lohrey has been writing professionally since 2009. In addition to writing web content and training manuals for small business clients and nonprofit organizations, including ERA Realtors and the Bay Area Humane Society, Lohrey also works as a finance data analyst for a global business outsourcing company.

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