Nausea, Vomiting, and Diarrhea in Kids

Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in kids can be extremely uncomfortable for both the child and the caretaker. KidsStreet is here to educate you on the causes, symptoms, treatment options, and prevention methods. 

What Are The Causes? 

Diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea in children can be the direct cause of many illnesses. In fact, your child may experience each of these if they are dealing with a stomach flu of some sort. Some of these include: 

  • Viral infection
  • Food poisoning 
  • Food allergy
  • Intestinal obstruction 

While all of these can cause these, there are many other reasons your child may be experiencing these, such as an underlying health problem. 

What Are The Symptoms? 

Symptoms of Nausea

Nausea is often -but not always- a precursor to vomiting and/or diarrhea. The symptoms include: 

  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramps
  • Loss or lack of appetite
  • Sweating
  • Retching or dry heaving 
  • Dry mouth

If the child’s nausea persists for more than 48 hours, see a medical professional. Additionally, if your child has a stiff neck, visit the emergency department immediately, as this could be a sign of meningitis. 

Symptoms of Vomiting 

Although vomiting is a symptom in and of itself, it may also be accompanied by symptoms such as: 

  • Gagging
  • Retching
  • Choking
  • Involuntary stomach reflexes
  • Mouth filling with saliva

Symptoms of Diarrhea

Similarly to vomiting, diarrhea may also come with its own set of symptoms, including: 

  • Loose, watery stools
  • Mucus in the stool 
  • Bloating
  • Urgency and frequency to have a bowel movement
  • Fever
  • Nausea

What Are The Treatment Options?  

It is important to try to treat the symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea quickly, as they can lead to dehydration if they are prolonged. Each of these illnesses has similar treatment methods, but these methodologies may not always be effective. 

Diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting in children can be treated by utilizing these methods: 

  • Get them to drink small amounts of fluid, such as water or broth. 
  • Try to get them to eat bland foods such as the BRAT diet. The BRAT diet includes bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. You can also try crackers. 
  • Give them over-the-counter nausea medications such as Pepto Bismol, 

Still struggling to treat your child? No worries! KidsStreet offers treatment for nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in our urgent care services for kids

When To Visit A Provider

Although each of these illnesses is fairly common, they can be dangerous if left untreated. Take your child to a medical provider immediately if: 

  • Their vomit has blood in it. 
  • Their vomit is green. 
  • Vomiting or diarrhea persists for more than 48 hours. 
  • Your child has a high fever accompanying their symptoms. 
  • Their stool contains blood. 
  • You believe your child is suffering from dehydration. 
  • The child has not eaten or drank anything in more than 24 hours. 
  • The child is having over 10 watery stools per day. 
  • The child is vomiting 8 or more times a day. 
  • Intense stomach pain while not vomiting or having diarrhea. 

If your child experiences vomiting, diarrhea, or nausea frequently, it may be time to talk with their provider. This could be a sign of an underlying health issue or allergy. 

Signs and Prevention of Dehydration

If your child is vomiting or having diarrhea for an extended period of time, it can lead to dehydration. Signs of dehydration include: 

  • Intense thirst
  • Clammy or cool hands and feet
  • Increased exhaustion 
  • Urinating less frequently
  • Brightly-colored and strong-smelling urine
  • Dry mouth and tongue
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • A sunken soft spot in infants
  • Slow blood refill test (push on the fingernail to make it turn white, then see how long it takes for it to regain color). 

To prevent dehydration, ensure that you are using proper oral rehydration solutions. Make sure that your child drinks frequently as well as has plenty of electrolytes. Drinks that help prevent dehydration include: 

  • Water
  • Sports drinks
  • Coconut water
  • Pedialyte
  • Various broths 

If your child is experiencing severe dehydration and cannot drink, they may need IV fluids or medications to help ease their symptoms. 

Preventing Nausea, Vomiting, and Diarrhea

Although these conditions may be hard to prevent, there are many ways you can reduce the chances that your child will begin experiencing them. Some prevention methods include: 

  • Washing your hands after playing with other kids or being in crowded areas to prevent viral infection. 
  • Taking note of any trigger foods that cause these symptoms. 
  • Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. 
  • Checking the expiration labels on all food, especially meats and dairy products. 

Turn To KidsStreet Urgent Care

Is your child struggling with vomiting, diarrhea, or nausea? KidsStreet Urgent Care can help them heal and feel better, fast! 

To visit our clinic, register online. You and your child will be able to wait from your home or vehicle until we’re ready to see you. 

Walk-ins are always welcome! However, please note that registering online reduces in-clinic wait times. Walk-in patients are added to the same queue as those who register online. 


This office is so nice and effective. The online system is a lifesaver and the time frame is very accurate. The nurses are amazing with my kid, and the doctor was the BEST.

We had a great experience! The staff is kind and accommodating! They offered us free drinks and a blanket for my sick daughter. We will be using this urgent care in the future!

Doctor and staff were absolutely amazing! They took awesome care of my daughter. Actually, they went over and beyond for her care.

What Are The Symptoms?


The symptoms of respiratory infection can vary based on type, but tend to include: 


  • Coughing or sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Trouble breathing
  • Drainage
  • Congestion 
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Red eyes
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches

Types Of Upper Respiratory Infections


Many URI’s are typically known as seasonal illnesses, which affect people during certain parts of the year. However, your child can contract a URI at any time especially if they have a weak immune system. 

The Cleveland Clinic considers these to be the most common upper respiratory illnesses: 


  • Sinusitis (sinus infection) 
  • Laryngitis
  • Common cold or cold viruses 
  • Pharyngitis (sore throat) 
  • Epiglottitis 
  • RSV (can affect lower respiratory tract as well)

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