Who Knew Children Do Vomit More Than Adults and the Top Four Tips To Know About Children and Grandchildren Vomiting, Their Vomit and Our Own

Why Kids Are So Prone to VomitingWhen this Grandma was an elementary school teacher, I always made a deal with the teacher next door.  I could not stand vomit or blood, so I asked if I had a student who vomited or bled, could I send them next door or have the teacher come help with the vomit or blood issue.  No one ever denied me that request.  I clearly could deal with other issues they hated, like discipline or boundaries with a difficult child, easy for me.  However, if someone vomits around me, I gag and, more often than not, also vomit.  Blood, even today, spooks me.  There is no rational reason for these aversions that I find in myself, although I hated vomiting as a child.  I felt as if my insides were coming out and it scared me.

Today, I received an NPR email.  I love my news and health and medical emails.  When I saw the title of a health article, “The Queasy Truth About Why Kids Are So Prone to Vomiting,” September 10, 2018 by Erin Blakemore, I was intrigued.  The article is great and gives so much information, worth reading in its entirety at this link.  h

Here are the top four tips I consider the most important take aways about vomit and vomiting.

CHILDREN ARE MORE PRONE THAN ADULTS TO VOMITING

That makes me feel wonderful, as now an educator of adults rather than children, I have less to worry about.  It seems that vomiting mechanisms are the same in adults as children, but children, according to the article, have a hair trigger reaction.  Now I know why, as an adult, I gag first.  The article gives step by step details of the vomiting mechanism.  For someone like me, it is too much information.  I gagged.

CHILDREN ARE MORE PRONE TO VOMITING BECAUSE OF INCIDENTS UNRELATED TO THE STOMACH

Erin Blakemore educated me that children vomit not only when they have a stomach bug or riding in the back seat of the car, hurling issues for those of us with sensitive temperament about vomiting or suffer from car sickness.  Apparently, even a slight injury, such as a stubbed toe, can cause a child to vomit, important to know about children as we adults think something is seriously wrong when a child vomits.  Another reason that I now know I was very smart to make a blanket deal with the teacher next door.

LOOKING AT THE VOMIT ITSELF IS IMPORTANT IN PROPERLY CARING FOR A CHILD OR ILL ADULT

Ugh!  Double ugh!  I cannot imagine how I successfully raised children.

Hydration was what I worried about when my children were vomiting.   I knew to be worried about dehydration.  I was careful to make sure my children took sips of liquid, now such as Pedialyte or Gatorade, with electrolites.  The article confirms that such hydration is imperative. I knew to look for stomach pain, lethargy (which sick child is not lethargic), and dehydration, but to actually look at the vomit itself is beyond my capability, even for loved ones, adult or child.  Here is the quote from the article, which is even hard for me to read:

“For Boston-area pediatrician Daniel Summers, red flags can often be found in the vomit itself. Parents who find “something other than the stomach contents you’d expect to find,” he says, should seek medical attention immediately. Watch out for blood, dark green bile, or even fecal matter, which can get into vomit from an obstructed bowel.”

Not in the article, but of immediate concern is the finding such same matter in urine or feces.  Take action and do not wait.

ZOFRAN (ONDANSETRON) IS A MIRACLE DRUG ONE MUST HAVE IN THEIR HOME AT ALL TIMES

When I have had surgery, been ill or had broken bones (which have been many), medication has made me nauseous.  A long (we never say old) dear friend told me about Zofran.  I had no clue about this miracle drug.  I now always carry Zofran in my purse.  Yes, fear of vomiting is that great that I have devoted a blog post to sharing it and miraculous Zofran with you.

Zofran was originally developed to stop chemotherapy patients from the vomiting side effect of treatment.  Zofran blocks the actions of chemicals in the body that can trigger nausea and vomiting. The fancy word for a drug that stops vomiting is an anti-emetic drug, and I agree with my knowledgeable friend that Zofran is the best.  It has few side effects but you should check it out with your doctor, before asking for a prescription to have on hand.  Check WebMd for more information on Zofran.

I even take Zofran prophylactically.  At this long age, I just know what is going to make me want to vomit.  To me the only downside of our precious six grandchildren is I could be around children who I now know may vomit easily and at anything, and I cannot get the notice I need to prevent my own vomiting with a prior dose of Zofran.

Zofran is not approved for use by anyone younger than 4 years old, according to websites about the drug and side effects.  The PBS article talks about having Zofran available for children.  There must be separate children’s dosages.  There is a 2006 study on Zofran and children that “a single oral dose of the Zofran can reduce vomiting by more than half and facilitate oral rehydration in children with gastroenteritis, according to pediatric emergency researchers.”  Check it out at this link.  For children who cannot swallow pills there is even a version of Zofran you can place under the tongue and it distintegrates.  Although some on line information says the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend Zofran for children, the latest information I could find was 2011 which said more study is needed on what would be considered rare extreme side effects on children.  Of course the best advice is to tell the parents to always consider their own child and ask the child’s pediatrician, and keep your adult dosage Zofran to yourself.

It is important to have the following information from the article as Zofran does its job so well that, with children, you may not realize that vomiting may reoccur before you realize the medication is no longer working:

“Putting a halt to the barf cycle can prevent dehydration and help keep a child out of the hospital, says Summers, not to mention making them more comfortable. If your child is taking an anti-emetic drug, he warns, it’s still important to go slowly when it comes to diet, eating small amounts and starting with bland foods, just in case the causes of the vomiting outlast the anti-vomiting prescription.”

The rest of the PBS article goes into serious stuff, the stuff that is the reason that doctors say do not go on the internet, as you may think you are dying from vomiting.

All of this new information about vomiting and vomit is the ultimate confirmation that I did the right thing in my twenties by making the vomit deal with the teacher next door to me.  I survived parenting and vomiting, vomit, and vomit clean up.  Yes, I did gag and sometimes did vomit along with my children. I did not know about Zofran! With Zofran, I can deal with my adult vomiting and vomit phobia.  Did I really say this?

Being a grandparent is the best.  As soon as I see the baby or older grandchild gagging or vomiting, I call a parent.  Let them analyze the vomit.

Better yet, as a grandparent, I can let them clean up the vomit.

 

Joy,

 

Mema

 

 

 

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