Sunday, January 23, 2011

Gee, what do I say?

It occurred to me that people might wonder what they can say here, so I thought I'd give some life examples that they can start with.

Back in the day, pediatricians recommended you give tylenol to your baby 30-45 minutes prior to your vaccination appointment. Now, I've heard they don't do that. True? What has your pediatrician told you?

My child vomiting, for me, was the worst thing to deal with. I would generally retch in harmony with them, as I cleaned up their bodies, hair, faces, beds... It was always the odor, not the sound or appearance of the vomit. However, like all parents, I coped and tried to make them feel better. One "tried and true" treatment has been handed down in our family for 60+ years and we still use it.
Whenever a child vomits, the clock starts, and they may have nothing by mouth for 4 hours. Once that 4 hours is up (and the child is awake), the child may have 1/4 teaspoon of FLAT ginger ale or coke. If they keep that down, it may be repeated in 15 minutes. Repeat for an hour; if no further vomiting then the amount may be slowly increased to 1/2 teaspoon, after another hour 1 teaspoon, after another hour, sips. However, if the child vomits again, the clock resets for the 4 hours of nothing by mouth

This is not carried on for more than 24 hours; if the child (or adult) can't keep anything down for 24 hours, the doctor really needs to see them. It's effective for those 24 hour bugs with intermittant vomiting. If vomiting is continuous, or combined with constant diarrhea, then dehydration is a much greater concern and the doctor needs to be involved much earlier.

Nowadays, I suppose parents could try substituting fluids with electrolytes available. But we just always found coke or ginger ale more effective (provided it was real coke/ginger ale). My parents still keep coke syrup, which they can get from their local pharmacy, on hand for vomiting.

What family treatments do you use?


  1. As far as vomiting goes, I follow the "listen to your body" method. If you're thirsty, there is always Gatorade or flat ginger ale to sip. If you're not thirsty, wait until you are to have a drink. I don't push fluids on my kids for that first awful 4-5 hours unless:
    a: it's only diarrhea
    b. they haven't vomited in a while and feel thirsty.
    My in-laws are BRAT diet nuts this year. If they get 1 bout of the runs, suddenly they have to start eating Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast. They think it's curing them. I had to break it to them that it was just a simple, plain and easy to keep down way of eating that shouldn't irritate the gastroenteritis. It was not a cure for the stomach flu. When my kids were sickened by the Norovirus this year, my father-in-law asked me if we had BRAT foods in the house and if we were going to give those foods to them. I said, well, first they have to stop puking their guts out and be able to handle simple liquids. THEN, they can move to solids of their wanting. If their body cannot tolerate solids, we'll do the BRAT foods. I think he thought I should be forcing a banana on them in between heaves. Good grief.

  2. Ah, the BRAT diet. Have recommended it many a time for gastroenteritis. Of course, it failed in the one person who thought toast (and yes, I did say dry toast) should mean lots of butter and jelly. Not that the sugar was all bad, but her tummy REALLY didn't like all the butter!)

    I LOL'd at your last sentence. I can just see some parents doing that!

  3. By the 2004, the recommendations had backed off from prophylactic tylenol. I never could understand why I should medicate my child prior to the vaccinations "just in case" and I never did. If I'm bringing the kid in for a "well baby check" to see if my child is developing normally, shouldn't the child be treated as normally as possible before going in? (I.e., no meds!)

    I was advised (but I no longer remember by whom) to breastfeed immediately afterward vaccination to ease pain. That worked for #1 (who screamed her head off as soon as we tried to keep her from moving around so the nurse could aim the syringe, then screamed even louder after it went in), but it wasn't necessary for #2 who as far as I remember didn't even notice he'd been injected.

    As far as vomiting goes, I remember being told to give sips of water at a rate that could be held down (a mouthful @15 min), and after a certain amount of time move on to bland food such as plain toast and bananas. That didn't really work out well and the poor kid ended up with an anti-emetic (sp?) suppository.

    The only other time either of my kids suffered major amounts of vomiting was a stomach bug I shared with my daughter so Dad got to deal with her, while I retreated to take care of myself.

    As for electrolytes: the nurses at the pedi's office assured us that if our kids actually needed electolytes, they'd suck on Pedialyte popsickles - and from my observations, they were right about that. The kids find them nasty, except when they actually need them.

  4. Thanks MI Dawn for setting up this blog. I'm looking forward to sharing with other parents. Thanks to all for sharing their tips re: vomiting. I remember my mum having a similar system. That, and erm 'magic water'.

    I don't have much to offer regarding home treatments, as so far our 7-going-on-8 month old has had no health issues, not even a cold. Lately however, she has started developing a dry patch on one of her arms which I worry might be a pre-cursor to eczema. I've been applying a moisturiser recommended by the pharmacist, which seemed to banish it for a few days, but then it came back. The patch doesn't seem to bother her at all and doesn't seem to be increasing in size. But of course I worry all the same (seem to have done this a lot since becoming a mother!).

  5. @chemmomo: curious. My grandfather made us avoid water; he claimed it would aggravate the vomiting. He really liked coke syrup or flat ginger ale for his patients. My kids loved pedialyte when they were sick, and also drank gatorade (shudder). Never had the pops but that was "way back when!"

    @hinterlander. What fun, to have a little one. Mine are 23 and almost 21, so my only advice is trust me, you will survive it all! :)
    Make yourself a note to ask your baby's care provider about the dry patch. If you are anything like me, without notes you will walk out without having asked half your questions. Worry is a parent's lot in life.