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From Nemours' KidsHealth
- A to Z: Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- First Aid: Diarrhea
- Nut and Peanut Allergy
- Celiac Disease Special Needs Factsheet
- Celiac Disease
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease Special Needs Factsheet
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome Special Needs Factsheet
- Lactose Intolerance Special Needs Factsheet
- A to Z: Gastroenteritis
- A to Z: Colitis
- First Aid: Constipation
- Necrotizing Enterocolitis
- Milk Allergy in Infants
- A to Z: Constipation
- Food Allergies
- Gastrostomy Tube (G-Tube)
- Shellfish Allergy
- Egg Allergy
- Soiling (Encopresis)
- X-Ray Exam: Abdomen
- Ultrasound: Abdomen
- X-Ray Exam: Upper Gastrointestinal Tract (Upper GI)
- Wheat Allergy
- A to Z: Intussusception
- A to Z: Intestinal Malabsorption
- Soy Allergy
- First Aid: Stomachaches
- Digestive System
- Lactose Intolerance
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- A to Z: Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
- Gastroesophageal Reflux
- A to Z Symptom: Vomiting
- A to Z Symptom: Diarrhea
- A to Z Symptom: Nausea
Trusted External Resources
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD)
- American Gastroenterological Association (AGA)
- American Liver Foundation
- American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders
- Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America
- The Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES) Foundation
- The International Gastrointestinal Eosinophil Researchers (TIGER)
- North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN)
A to Z Symptom: Vomiting
A to Z Symptom: Vomiting
May also be called: Puking; Throwing Up; Emesis
More to Know
Vomiting itself is rarely harmful, though it is upsetting. In most cases, vomiting goes away on its own with proper home care.
Vomiting can have many causes. Most cases are due to viral gastroenteritis, often called the "stomach flu," and can be accompanied by fever, nausea, and diarrhea.
Vomiting can be a symptom of a virus or bacteria infecting the gastrointestinal tract, like rotavirus, norovirus, salmonellosis, shigellosis, E. coli, and a number of others. The term "food poisoning" usually refers to the vomiting and diarrhea caused by bacteria that have contaminated food or drink.
For most people who have vomiting due to gastroenteritis, no food and no liquids by mouth for a short time, followed by clear liquids, will be treatment enough. Ask your doctor about suitable liquids. After 8 hours with no vomiting, slowly introduce bland and mild foods, such as toast, crackers, rice, and mashed potatoes.
It's best for someone with vomiting to avoid being around others until 24 hours after all symptoms end.
In some cases, vomiting can cause dehydration, which requires prompt medical treatment.
Vomiting that lasts for more than a few hours or keeps happening might have other, more serious causes. If this happens, call your doctor. He or she can find and treat the underlying cause.
Keep in Mind
Washing hands well and often is the best way to help prevent spreading contagious infections affecting the stomach and intestines. Everyone in your family should wash their hands after using the bathroom and before eating or preparing food.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
Date reviewed: February 06, 2017