When vomiting becomes threatening in children
Vomiting is common in small babies. A baby may throw up after feeding because he has swallowed a lot of air during feeding through what is known as possetting or the bringing up of small quantities of milk. At twelve weeks, a baby is expected to bring up milk less because his digestive system is more developed.
But it is also possible for a newborn baby to be attacked by minor infections that cause vomiting which should not be a cause for concern. The vomiting are caused by virile gut infection and, in most cases, the vomiting would stop after a few days when the child’s immune system fights it off successfully.
But when the vomiting starts suddenly and is more in volume, it may be caused by gastroenteritis. The symptoms make it difficult for the baby to retain his food, so he throws up after eating. The baby will have diarrhea, stomach pain, and a fever. The baby may have a headache and painful limbs.
But there are other causes that make a baby to vomit. When he cannot tolerate a food, for instance, along with other symptoms of food allergy, he will vomit. A child who has appendicitis or the one who has swallowed poison would vomit also.
Watch closely to observe the cause and to know if it is something you can treat at home.
Watch the symptoms to see if they resemble the ones above. Observe the child closely and regularly. Give drinks to prevent dehydration. Do not give fruit juice as it can irritate a sensitive stomach. If you are bottle-feeding or breastfeeding, give food more regularly and supplement it with sips of water.
If you are watching the child closely, you would notice if there are changes in the amount of urine. If it is less, it is sign that there is dehydration. Follow up with oral rehydration therapy. Be stricter with hygiene around the home now to stop the infection spreading further. Insist that hands and surfaces are washed now more than ever before.
If the baby is still less than six months see the doctor to make sure that the child is responding well to your care. But for those who are older, if the vomit has lasted for more than two days, the child has not been able to hold down any fluid and is urinating less. If he has severe stomach pain or generally looks ill, he is listless, floppy, and irritable or has headache or a stiff neck, these are signs of something more serious. These are symptoms of serious infections like appendicitis or meningitis, middle-ear infections or pneumonia.
Recently, there was an announcement of the outbreak of meningitis in some states of the Federation. This should be a concern for all especially as the disease can be severe in the very young. There are two types, the viral and bacterial meningitis. The most common is the viral type which causes inflammation of the tissue that protects the brain and spinal cord and many times known to be less serious than the bacterial meningitis because, most times, the person gets better without treatment within a few days. But anybody who has symptoms should see the doctor because some types are serious that only a doctor can determine that it is meningitis, know the type and the best treatment that should be given.
Babies who are younger than one month are likely to be seriously ill if they come in contact with the virus.Symptoms which are common in babies are fever, irritability, poor feeding. Sleepiness or trouble waking up from sleep and lethargy are also symptoms.
Bacterial meningitis is serious and causes complications like brain damage, hearing loss or learning disabilities.
Prevention Is the Only Option
Wash your hands with soap and water, especially after changing baby napkins, using the toilet, coughing or blowing your nose. Do not touch your face with unwashed hands. Avoid contacts such as kissing, hugging or sharing cups or plates with people who are sick. Cover your mouth when you cough with a tissue or the top your sleeves, not your hands. Clean and disinfect frequently- touched surfaces like toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick. Stay home when you are sick.
We got all these information from the Centre for Diseases and Control. Some vaccinations can protect against diseases that can lead to viral meningitis; diseases like measles, mumps, chicken pox and influenza. Shots of these at the right time could help your child.