why does my child vomit at night

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Last Updated: Aug 16, 2013 Nighttime is a common time for some children to get sick. No one likes to see a sick child. If your child is waking up in the middle of the night and getting sick by having an upset stomach and vomiting, finding a solution is key in maintaining his health. Vomiting, or emesis, can be a temporary or isolated event caused by a virus or something that he ate, or it could be the indication of a much more serious medical issue. Vomiting can be quite scary for your child, especially when it awakens her in the middle of the night. Her feelings of intense nausea indicate that her stomach is unsettled and she likely feels the need to regurgitate. Medline Plus explains that vomiting is forceful action of the diaphragm muscle in an intense downward contraction. The sphincter is opened to release the contents of the stomach in a propelled upward and outward motion to expel food and liquid. An increase in saliva and a slight rise in body temperature may also occur. Vomiting itself generally only lasts a few seconds, followed by further possible episodes of regurgitation. Vomiting caused from a stomach flu or gastroenteritis may only last for 24 hours and come and go in small episodes. It can sometimes occur after bedtime, when your child is lying down flat. If he is suffering from a serious medical condition such as hepatitis, head injury or diabetic ketoacidosis (high blood glucose), the condition will have to be addressed and treated before the vomiting will subside. Certain conditions can cause nighttime vomiting in your child. Acid reflux disease can flare up at night, especially after first laying down, as the acids and undigested food can begin to travel back into the esophagus. Family Doctor explains that some illnesses can cause an upset stomach or stomach pain that may lead to vomiting. Some of the most common include gastroenteritis or stomach flu, migraine headaches, parasites, appendicitis, motion sickness, hepatitis, food positioning, pancreatitis, ulcer, severe heartburn, head injury, cancer or ketoacidosis. It is important to keep a close watch on your child when she is sick and vomiting at night. In small children, she can swallow or choke on her vomit when lying down or falling asleep. Persistent vomiting that lasts more than two days should be evaluated by a medical doctor to rule out serious medical problems. If the vomiting is also followed by diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain or any other type of sharp or sudden pain, emergency care should be instituted. The Mayo Clinic states dehydration in your child could lead to shock, seizures, cerebral edema, kidney failure or death if left untreated. If your child goes to bed at night with an upset stomach, try having him lay in an upright position to reduce acid from rising up the esophagus. Use a wedge pillow or several pillows propped upright to elevate his upper body.


Settle his stomach by using an antacid pill or liquid that will help curb nausea and fight back acid. Slowly introduce fluids, continually but in small amounts, to prevent further regurgitation. Kids Health recommends using an oral electrolyte solution or having him drink fluids that contain electrolytes, such as sports drinks found on your grocer's shelves. What is causing my toddler to vomit? Anything from to indigestion can cause your child to be sick. Even a prolonged or coughing can trigger this reflex. So you may see quite a bit of vomiting in your childвs first few years. In toddlers, a sudden bout of vomiting is most commonly caused by a tummy infection, such as gastroenteritis. This is usually brought on by a virus, which may also give your child. a a an a When should I call the doctor about my toddler vomiting? An attack of vomiting will generally get better within a day or two, without any particular treatment. Encourage your toddler to drink plenty of fluids so that he stays hydrated. As long as your child seems otherwise healthy, and isn t losing a lot of weight, thereвs usually no need to worry. However, vomiting can sometimes be a symptom of more serious illnesses. Call your doctor if you notice that your child has: Signs of, including a dry mouth, lack of tears, weeing less often and floppiness. A, with a temperature of 39 degrees C or higher. A lack of appetite. Vomiting for more than 24 hours, or vomiting with great force. A that doesnвt fade when you press his skin. Sleepiness or severe irritability. Shortness of breath. A swollen tummy, or severe tummy pain. A headache and a stiff neck. Blood or a green substance, known as bile, in his vomit. Blood in your childвs vomit is usually nothing to worry about, if he was well before he vomited. Sometimes the force of bringing up stomach contents causes tiny tears in the blood vessels lining your child s food pipe. Your childвs vomit may also be tinged with red if he has swallowed blood from a cut in his mouth, or has had a nosebleed in the past six hours. But talking to your doctor will allow you to rule out any more worrying causes. Be warned that if your childвs vomit contains blood or bile, the doctor may want to see a sample, so try to save some. In very rare cases, a sore tummy and vomiting may be a sign of appendicitis. This means that your child will need to have an operation to remove his appendix. If you think your child has appendicitis, call emergency services and ask for an ambulance. If your child is vomiting because he has swallowed a drug or, you should take him to your nearest accident and emergency department (A E), or call an ambulance immediately. How can I help my child to feel better? Vomiting is usually nothing to worry about, and there are things you can do to help your child to feel better.


You shouldnвt give your toddler anti-nausea medicines, unless your GP has prescribed them. Keep him hydrated When your child vomits, heвs losing precious fluids, so give him lots to drink to prevent him from getting. Give him an oral rehydration solution (ORS), such as Dioralyte. If your child vomits after having an ORS, wait between five minutes and 10 minutes, and then start again. Try giving it more slowly, such as a spoonful every two or three minutes. A syringe may help if your toddler canвt take sips. Donвt give your child fruit juice or fizzy drinks, particularly if he has diarrhoea as well as vomiting. Water is a better choice. If your toddler can t hold down sips of fluid, contact your GP (NHS 2011b, NICE 2009: 7). If you re breastfeeding, you can carry on as normal. Encourage him to rest Going to sleep may help his tummy to settle, as the stomach often empties into the intestines during sleep, relieving the need to vomit. If your child goes to or, keep him at home until at least 48 hours after his last episode of vomiting (NICE 2009, NHS 2011a). Don t worry if he s not eating Try not to worry if he doesn t want to eat. Food can wait until his appetite returns. Itвs drink that is the most important while he is vomiting. Once your toddler hasnвt vomited for between 12 hours and 24 hours, he ll probably start to feel hungry. Slowly start offering him his usual foods. Remember to keep giving him plenty of fluids (NICE 2009, Tidy 2012). Some children develop for a while after they ve had a tummy bug. This can lead to bloating, tummy pain, wind, and watery poo after drinking milk. The condition will improve once the infection is over and the lining of his tummy heals. Start with easy-to-digest foods, such as cereal or yoghurt, or whatever your child fancies. However, keep him off fatty or sugary foods, as these may make his symptoms worse (NICE 2009, Tidy 2012). Check what your child is eating If you think your child s sickness could be caused by an allergy, you could try adjusting his diet to see if you can work out which food triggered the reaction. However, you should make an appointment with your doctor before permanently removing foods from your childвs diet. How can prevent the rest of the family getting sick too? To prevent the spread of tummy bugs, your toddler shouldnвt share his towel with anyone. Help him to (NICE 2009, NHS 2011a). If you think your toddler may be vomiting because of something he ate, learn about. I am new to this kind of thing, but bare with me-maybe I can shed some light! Our 9yr old son has suffered with periods of unexplained violent vomitting with accompanying symptoms since age of 18mths, and only two yrs ago did we get a different doctor who has diagnosed abdominal migraine. He has glue ear-has had 4 sets of grommets fitted in both ears over a period of 5yrs-has hayfever, but otherwise a healthy, active child.


When it started we thought it was just a bug, but soon questioned ourselves when it became patterned. He would wake from a sleep, pass an unbelievable amount of vomit, then quickly settle back to sleep, wake the next day as though nothing had happened! We did the usual-keep him off nursery for 2 days, offer water then dry foods and within a couple of hours was back eating as normal. We found no obvious triggers but thought it was all down to the glue ear/congestion as the vomit was mucus like. As he got older and his communication became clearer he would tell us he had a tingle in his nose, felt funny in his tummy, would lie down and within 20 minutes would have an almighty vomit-my husband and I(and various family members who have witnessed it)are still amazed by the volume. It can happen at any time now-not just through the night-he stops what he is doing, tells us it is coming, his palour is pale but with dark circles under his eyes lies down feeling clammy and can't bare to be touched(stroking his back/hair/face etc)then always makes the bucket/bathroom. Once he has his vomit(only on the last occasion did he have 2 vomits)he falls into a very deep sleep-so much so I don't let him sleep alone-which can last for up to 17hrs!! And still when he wakes it is as though nothing has happened. We still offer a clear drink and some dry cereal to get started-even although he maintains he is ravenous-but we don't keep him from school or planned activity after an episode anymore and that has never backfired, as long as he sleeps it off and has eaten something before leaving the house, all seems well. We took him to the doctor 2yrs ago because the episodes were more frequent and he had lost quite a bit of weight within a 6wk period. Although no diagnostic tests were taken, the Doctor offered the abdominal migraine/cyclical vomitting explanation and it seems to be the case. However, our son has never complained of pain in his tummy, but sometimes a fuzzy feeling across his forehead but the tingling in the nose is still present and so we are inclined to think maybe there is a connection to his congestion issues(I suffer with sinusitis as does my mum). His E. N. T consultant cannot comment either way. No parent wants there child to suffer any illness and this is no different-it may just appear to be a bug -and may sometimes be-but if you feel it could be more-keep asking questions! The doctor who gave us this diagnosis also reffered me to a gyn doctor many years ago after I had been attending my own doctor for approx 4. 5 yrs with period problems and being told almost every trip it's just part of being a woman. I was quickly diagnosed with and treated for endometriosis. Hope this offers some help? Good luck

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