Common childhood illnesses: Vomiting and Diarrhoea


Children often tend to suffer from bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea through the early years of childhood. Diarrhoea, which is a type of viral infection, is also often known as intestinal flu, gastroenteritis or stomach flu.

Diarrhoea in children is often accompanied with vomiting. This is due to some infection and could also be a case of food poisoning. In addition, your child may also run a mild temperature, or complain of pain in the stomach.

In most cases, your child will recover without the need of any medicines, and resting and eating light and fresh foods can help.

Treating diarrhoea

There are no specific treatment methods for mild diarrhoea in children, but you should still consult a doctor. Here are a few things you can try:

  • Make sure your child is hydrated and give lots of fluids, such as soups, fresh juices, water and tender coconut water. Lassi is also a great soothing option for diarrhoea.
  • Let your child rest as much as possible.
  • If your child tends to use the washroom often, make an ORS formula at home by mixing a pinch of salt and a spoon of sugar in a glass of water. Let your child drink this a few times in the day.
  • If your child wants to drink milk, it is fine to do so in small amounts.

When to visit a doctor?

While most cases of diarrhoea in children get better at home, here are a few warning signs when you should immediately inform the doctor:

  • If you spot any blood or mucus in the stool.
  • If your child complains of regular and increasing stomach pain.
  • If your child does not pass urine often – this could point to dehydration.
  • If your child seems especially weak and does not want to get up.
  • If the fever gets high.
  • If there is excessive vomiting and your child is not able to hold on to any food or drink.


If your child is vomiting without any symptoms of diarrhoea, you should consult a doctor immediately. Possible causes could include:

  • Infection in some part of the body
  • Blockage in the intestine (very yellow vomit)
  • Side effect of some medicine
  • Food poisoning – but this is usually accompanied with diarrhoea
  • Accidentally taking any poisonous or dangerous substance
  • Injury to the brain
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) – most common in breastfeeding babies

If your child vomits more than twice a day, it is important to speak to the doctor and check if an examination or medicine is needed.


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