Vomiting occurs when a child's stomach
contents are forced up the
esophagus and out of the mouth. Although nausea may
accompany vomiting in adults and older children, children younger than age 3
are usually not able to tell you if they are having nausea. Most of the time
vomiting is not serious. Home treatment will often ease your child's
Vomiting in a baby should not be confused with spitting
up. Vomiting is forceful and repeated. Spitting up may seem forceful but it
usually occurs shortly after feeding, is effortless, and causes no discomfort.
A baby may spit up for no reason
Overfeeding, not burping your baby after feeding,
intolerance to milk or formula, and exposure to tobacco smoke are other reasons
why your baby may spit up.
Most vomiting in children is caused by a viral stomach illness (gastroenteritis). A child with a stomach illness also
may have other symptoms, such as diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. With home
treatment, the vomiting usually will stop within 12 hours. Diarrhea may last
for a few days or more.
Rotavirus is a virus that can cause
severe vomiting and diarrhea.
Rotavirus vaccine(What is a PDF document?) helps protect against
Vomiting can also be
caused by an infection in another part of the body, such as
pneumonia, or a urinary tract infection. In rare cases, vomiting can
be a symptom of a serious condition, such as a blockage of the digestive tract
(pyloric stenosis), an infection (meningitis) of the fluid (cerebrospinal fluid) and
tissues (meninges) that surround the brain and spinal cord, or
When a toddler vomits,
it is important to make sure he or she has not swallowed medicines, household
liquids, or other poisons. Look around the house for empty containers and
spills. There may be pills in your child's vomit, or the vomit may have an
unusual appearance, color, or odor. For more information, see the topic
A child who falls down and
forcefully hits his or her head or belly may vomit because of an injury to
those areas. Check your child's body for bruises and other injuries.