If it’s the stomach flu, or something you hate — there are some proven strategies to limit how much you (or your family) are throwing up and get it to STOP.
Ew. The flu. I’m talking about the stomach kind (which isn’t the 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 pediatric 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!
BTW, if routines that simplify your life is something you’re looking for — be sure to check this course on Family Routines. Routines come in ALL forms — whether you have the stomach flu, homework, or need to make dinner. I think you’ll like it a lot — in fact, she guarantees it. Join for a month, or a year — you can cancel at any time — you can even save 10% with code PC10.
I also have a podcast with this same info that you might prefer listening to.
Stomach Flu vs Food Poisoning
For all intents and purposes, it doesn’t really matter since you treat them the same. However, I might not eat at that same restaurant again.
If you have a fever or body aches, that is likely the stomach flu, but it can be food poisoning as well.
Both can be treated at home unless you get severely dehydrated (which, if you follow my plan you will likely do alright).
How to Stop Throwing Up:
How to lay when you have the stomach flu?
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.
As for the BEST position — left side (so they say) is best, I usually find this to be true. It can also help heartburn (because of how your stomach is tilted)
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}.
Momeez Choice reached out to me about their Tumeez product line and I thought it was the perfect addition to this conversation! Let’s talk about tummy troubles and how this organic remedy on a stick can help ease sick days for kids and moms (sponsored by Momeez Choice).
Tumeez, tummy soothing pops for kids, are a sick day essential in my home. I’m excited about them, because for kids — there really isn’t a whole lot you can give them — until now! Tumeez are organic soothing lollipops for kids to help relieve heartburn, acid indigestion and an upset tummy.
Tumeez are made with USDA Certified Organic ingredients with a dose of calcium carbonate (same ingredient that’s in Tums) and organic honey, both known to help alleviate common stomach ailments. The pops are also Non-GMO as well as gluten, dairy and nut-free.
Tumeez come in a variety pack of two delicious flavors — Grape and Apple — and are available at CVS, Walgreens and on Amazon. They also have a sister product Lolleez for sore throats (I talk about them in my sore throat post)! If you want to keep them on your mind, follow them on IG.
Note on how I would use them: I would wait until their stomach settles a bit (aka, an hour without vomiting) before I gave one of these. Tumeez are a great option for any type of tummy trouble and also for when your kid is “so hungry” but NOT ready for regular food. Love these because they work and also they put a smile back on my kid’s face because…hello, lollipop…
What to eat with the stomach flu?
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 angrier. Try:
- Ginger ale (I would decarbonate the soda as mentioned above)
- KoolAid, something like that.
- Sometimes apple juice, but often juices are more acidic…
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 by your doctor, they can dehydrate quickly. I’d maybe a keep a pack of 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).
Does Sprite help with stomach flu?
It can, but no more than any other clear liquid. Ginger Ale CAN help with nausea (but only if it’s made with actual ginger, which many are not).
No real food for at least 12 hours after the stomach flu
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….
Proceed with Caution on 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. Often I give my kids a small bowl of rice chex to try them out.
Related: Check out all my Children’s Health Tips!
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.
What to watch for with the stomach flu:
Things to watch for that are worrisome is a lack of tears or wetness in their mouth. Extreme lethargy. Sometimes I try just a medicine 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. 🙁
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.
Related Post: Are essential oils essential?
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. 🙂
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Stomach Flu/Food Poisoning FAQ’s
Usually less than 24 hours. The beauty is that you can feel SO sick, and within a day feel fairly back to normal (vs a cold, where you can feel miserable for quite a while.
I guess this gets googled a lot. It would be like giving a probiotic as it is a fermented food. I certainly wouldn’t take it until I was DONE throwing up. It would not feel good to come up a 2nd time.
It spreads by the products of the stomach flu — so vomit, diarrhea. It is quite contagious, so be thoughful about your hand washing (and if you’re not sure which it is, wash your hands just in case).
Probiotics would be good to take AFTER you’re done with the stomach flu. It will fill your gut with “good” bacteria!
I don’t recommend any specific medication. You can treat the symptoms, or talk with your doctor.
It’s pretty darn contagious, so wash hands well!
As long as you have symptoms. That time frame will vary.
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