Like most folks this season I’ve developed a hack, and a couple days ago my toddler Max joined along. He’s still super active, breathing, eating, peeing, pooping, so not too concerned. But last night before bed I thought his stomach looked a bit more plump than usual. He then added 10 ounces of uranium laced milk to the reactor. When fully topped up he coughed and spit up a bit. So I picked him up and tapped his back as you do. That’s when the cork blew.
Never in any ER have I seen such well distributed vomit. He soaked not only our bed and his pants and shirt, but the front and back of my shirt as well. We skated straight into the shower fully clothed, and Vanessa became hazmat director.
Why tell you this? Well it made me think of all the parents I’ve seen in ERs with vomiting kids. If vomit volume was a red flag then I too should have called 911. But it’s not. In fact, Max never even cried. He looked surprised, but then thoroughly enjoyed clothed showering and pushing undigested wagon wheel pasta (complete wheels!) through the strainer.
So here are other shades worth considering:
Parents are often concerned that their kids won’t eat after a good round of vomiting. But really, hydration is what we care about. If kiddo only wants blue Otter Pops for three days, then so be it. Your gauge is urination. Food happens later.
For kids who land in the ER we often start with Zofran and Pedialyte, or Otter Pops. If we choose to get blood tests then we frequently run saline as well to limit the needle sticks. Oral or IV hydration can be remarkably effective. Kids in particular just seem to blossom.
If abdominal pain remains a component expect a CT scan, or ultrasound first if time permits. Head CT on occasion reveals surprises too if there are associated neurological problems. But we really try to limit the radiation.
Long story short, most vomiting resolves with TLC, +/- Zofran. It’s not the vomiting so much as the dehydration which causes concern. Feel free to give us a call to talk it through, or maybe for some IV fluids. Or head to an ER if you want to chase faster diagnostic testing and treatment.
As for Max, he’s well on the mend, but Zak has started sniffling. We’ll see. On the bright side, being soaked in someone’s vomit really helps gauge a relationship. Having not minded, I now realize how much I love those two.
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