Ew. The flu. I’m talking about the stomach kind (which isn’t a flu at all, actually, that’s just a stomach virus — but that’s a blog for another day). Although, often over quickly (especially if you follow these tips) it’s miserable — am I right? I learned these tips while working pedatric phone triage in a busy pediatrician’s office. They rarely fail us in this house. Let’s find out what to do when you have the stomach flu!
1. Lay still.
I just make my kids a nice home in the bathroom. I bring in their favorite blanket and a book and a pillow. I just want them to lay still. If they’re old enough I have a few barf buckets they can take to their room and LAY DOWN. Sometimes you feel great after you puke, but that’s the time to just lay still and let the healing commence. Left side (so they say) is best, I usually find this to be true.
2. Don’t add anything to your stomach
I don’t let my kids have ANYTHING for an hour after they throw up. That stomach is irritated, that’s why it let you see dinner for the 2nd time. It needs time to simma’ down now (if your child needs something for their fever you can get a suppository at the drugstore to keep their stomach clear}.
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3. Clear Liquids
After the hour, I let them have small sips of clear liquids. A clear liquid is anything you can see through and won’t hurt like the dickens if you see it again (like grape juice, ouch!).
I usually do-uncarbonated sprite (you can take out a lot of the bubbles by pouring it from one cup to the other for a few minutes, sometimes the carbonation bugs me at that point), or ginger ale (which really can help with nausea).
Small sips here, a tablespoon’ish at a time. Don’t go crazy here. I also don’t recommend ice or straight water. Somehow that makes your stomach even more angry. Try gatorade, sprite, ginger ale, orange drink, KoolAid, something like that. If your child is under 1 you might want to try pedialyte (although that stuff is gross, I wouldn’t eat it). If they’re over 6 months I have watered down gatorade 1/2 with water.
I’d ask your pediatrician what they recommend for the little babes – ours usually recommended clear Pedialyte (which tastes horrible – so good luck with that). If you have a baby under 2 months (possibly even 6 months) throwing up (not spitting up), you should probably get seen, they can dehydrate quickly. I’d maybe a keep a the powder on hand if I had a little one — just in case.
Or, try a fancy water bottle they get to use when they’re sick (and won’t spill on their beds while they rest).
4. No real food for at least 12 hours.
That’s right. I REALLY try to stick with clear liquids for 12 hours. If they puke in the morning and seem to be OK by dinner time I may advance them to….
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5. The BRAT diet
It’s really anything white and non-fatty. Pasta, saltines, pears, anything in that variety will also work. You just still want that stomach to heal.
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By breaking my cardinal rules you run the risk of extending the vomiting even longer. Stick with these, tell your kids/husband/yourself that it is helping your stomach heal and stick to the plan.The best thing after you kid throws up is to put nothing in their tummy for the next hour from @PullingCurlsClick To Tweet
What to watch for:
Things to watch for that are worrisome is a lack of tears or wetness in their mouth. Extreme lethargy. Sometimes I try just a medication dropper to drop in a tablespoon of fluids every hour into them. That seems to be enough to sneak in some fluids without buggin’ the tum-tum. If you go to the hospital, the main thing they’ll try is an IV and I’d like to hold that off for my kids as long as possible. Again, really tiny kids will need to be seen sooner. 🙁
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Now, vomiting isn’t ALWAYS the stomach flu. Sometimes kids vomit when they have too much mucus in their tummy or cry too much (Princess P is famous for that!), or just want to make your day totally miserable. So make sure that it’s really their stomach before you start all this. Either way, after a puke (unless it’s obviously from a cold and a lot of mucus in their tummy, as liquids will help that) I give NO fluids for 1 hour. I make them rest and calm down.
Your washing machine will thank you. 🙂