How to manage vomiting

Vomiting can be appalling and many will find ways in order to make it stop. Before treating vomiting, you have to make sure that you know the exact cause. Remember that the treatment depends on the cause.

Adequate rest

When managing vomiting caused by the stomach flu or gastroenteritis, the initial step is to allow the stomach to rest.

Once the individual stops vomiting, he/she should not attempt to eat or drink anything for 15-20 minutes so that the stomach has enough time to recover. Allowing the stomach muscles time to rest after vomiting will reduce the chances of vomiting once he/she starts to eat and drink again.

Fluids to prevent dehydration


When managing vomiting caused by the stomach flu or gastroenteritis, the initial step is to allow the stomach to rest.

Once the stomach is allowed to rest for 15-20 minutes and if the individual has not vomited again, he/she can take small sips of liquid every 5-10 minutes. Rehydration is vital in order to avoid dehydration.

The recommended fluids include water, sports drinks and pediatric electrolyte drinks for children. Beverages such as milk and sodas should be avoided until the individual is able to tolerate a normal diet.

In case a child is vomiting, be careful not to allow him/her to drink a lot of fluids at once. It might be easier to control the amount by providing a spoonful of the liquid rather than a bottle or cup. If the individual or child is able to tolerate small sips of fluids, you can slowly increase the amount drank with every sip.

BRAT diet

If the child is able to tolerate clear liquid without further vomiting, he/she can start eating. Just remember that this should not be started quickly though. Make sure that the individual or child can keep fluids down for 8-12 hours before attempting to eat anything. In case the individual has not vomited or feels like eating after 8-12 hours, start with starchy, bland foods.

Close look on the BRAT diet

BRAT stands for banana, rice, applesauce and toast. All of these are bland foods that are easy to digest. These are not the only foods that can be eaten, but are highly recommended. Foods that are rich or acidic must be avoided until the individual completely recovers.

Normal diet

If the individual can keep both clear liquids and bland foods down, he/she can progress to a normal diet. It is usually a day to two after the vomiting has stopped before the individual can resume a normal diet.

Medications for vomiting

Oftentimes, vomiting cannot be controlled with the measures stated. Once this occurs, medications might be needed to control it. There are medications available by prescription to help control vomiting. Depending on the case of the individual, the doctor might prescribe one to ease the discomfort.

There are also over-the-counter medications that can help manage an upset stomach such as Pepto-Bismol. This medication coats the lining of the stomach but not likely to stop vomiting if the individual has stomach flu.


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