Occasional vomiting isn’t much to get worked up over, but when your child starts vomiting with a fever, you’re likely to take note. You want to do your best to take care of your child, but you aren’t sure whether you need to visit the doctor. Pay attention to her symptoms and the way she is acting to determine the cause of the problem.
Many cases of vomiting with fever in children come from viral gastroenteritis, or “stomach flu.” If your child has this illness, she will vomit for about a day, then will start to also have diarrhea. Other causes could be more serious, such as meningitis, concussion, appendicitis or kidney infection.
Unless the fever is very high, you do not have to treat the fever in your child. If you decide to treat it, use children’s acetaminophen rather than ibuprofen, which can be irritating to the stomach. Keep your child comfortable and allow him to vomit whenever he needs to. Give him plenty of liquids to help avoid dehydration. Give him foods that are gentle on the stomach, such as clear broth, plain rice, bananas or toast.
If your child is vomiting, it’s likely that he’ll vomit any medicine that you give him orally. In this case, it’s best to give your child the medicine rectally, though you need special medicine to be able to do so. If your child has vomited the medicine that you gave him and you want to give him another dose, check with his doctor to ensure safety.
Dehydration is the major concern among children who are vomiting. Your child may be dehydrated if she has a dry mouth, no tears when she cries, disorientation or excessive sleepiness, weakness and infrequent urination. You can prevent dehydration by giving your child an electrolyte solution, which you can purchase in your pharmacy. If your child vomits that up as well, you can put a small amount in his mouth, next to his cheek. It will absorb through the skin.
Visit the doctor if the vomiting and fever are accompanied by a sore neck or strong-smelling urine, both of which could signal serious illnesses. If your child does not get diarrhea within a day or two of vomiting, it’s a sign that the illness is not the common viral infection. You should also visit the doctor if your child has projectile vomiting, if it’s green or if it looks like coffee grounds.