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Nausea: How to Care for Your Child

Nausea is a feeling of being sick to the stomach. Children of any age can have nausea. It often happens before throwing up. It's rarely serious and usually goes away in a few days.

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  • Only give medicine if your health care provider recommended it.

  • Try to give your child a balanced diet if possible, but don't force your child to eat.

  • If your child's regular food makes the nausea worse, encourage your child to:

    • Eat plain foods, such as toast, crackers, rice, and mashed potatoes.

    • Avoid greasy, fried, or sugary foods.

    • Eat and drink small amounts slowly.

    • Avoid activity right after meals.

  • Encourage your child to get plenty of liquids:

    • Offer things like water, diluted juice, soup, ice pops, or gelatin.

    • Avoid carbonated drinks (like soda) and drinks with caffeine (like coffee and caffeinated teas).

  • Follow your health care provider's advice about when your child can return to school or childcare.

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Your child:

  • starts vomiting

  • has nausea that lasts for more than a week or comes back again after getting better

  • has belly pain or watery diarrhea

  • has a fever

  • has headaches that are severe or frequent or happen in the morning when they wake up

  • refuses to eat or drink

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Why does nausea happen? Common reasons for nausea include infections, stress, anxiety, some medicines, motion sickness, food sensitivities, allergic reactions, pregnancy, and dehydration.

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