Learn first aid for a baby or child who is vomiting and has diarrhoea

1. Give them boiled water that has been cooled.

Encourage them to drink small sips often. Drinking water helps replace fluids lost from vomiting and diarrhoea. If they continue to vomit and have diarrhoea for a long time, give them a rehydration product. This will help replace the salts they lose. Small babies should only be given their normal milk.

2. Let them rest.

Place a bowl or bucket near them in case they need to vomit.

3. If symptoms continue, seek medical advice.

Vomiting and diarrhoea can be dangerous as they can lead to dehydration – a state where the body does not have enough fluids in it to function properly.

Watch how to help a baby or child who is vomiting and has diarrhoea (1 minute 13 seconds)

Common questions about first aid for a baby or child who is vomiting and has diarrhoea.

What causes vomiting and diarrhoea?


Do I do anything differently if a baby is vomiting and has diarrhoea?


Why do I have to give a baby or child boiled water that has been cooled?


Can I give a baby or child milk to drink?


What can I do to stop the diarrhoea and vomiting spreading to other people?


After the vomiting and diarrhoea has stopped, what can I give them to eat?


 

What causes vomiting and diarrhoea?

Contaminated food and drink can cause vomiting and diarrhoea. You can also get it from another person if they have a virus.

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Do I do anything differently if a baby is vomiting and has diarrhoea?

If they are under six months old, offer them their normal milk instead of boiled water.

It is important to seek medical advice for a baby because they are more at risk of dehydration. Very young babies up to 3 months old are particularly at risk.

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Why do I have to give a baby or child boiled water that has been cooled?

Giving them water will help replace the fluids they have lost because of vomiting and diarrhoea. This will help prevent dehydration.

The water needs to be boiled to remove any impurities. You then cool the water so they can drink it comfortably.

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Can I give a baby or child milk to drink?

Give babies their normal milk, otherwise give them boiled water that has cooled.

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What can I do to stop the diarrhoea and vomiting spreading to other people?

If a virus has caused the vomiting and diarrhoea, good hygiene will help stop it spreading:

  • wipe any surfaces the child or baby has touched with disinfectant
  • wash your hands frequently
  • don’t share any towels.

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After the vomiting and diarrhoea has stopped, what can I give them to eat?

You can give them small amounts of bland food after the vomiting and diarrhoea has finished.

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Email us if you have any other questions about first aid for a baby or child who is vomiting and has diarrhoea.