21 answers

Reasons for Vomiting?

Okay, this sounds really crazy, I know. I am absolutely phobic about vomiting, and I knew that sooner or later, my daughter would throw up. Today was the day. She woke up and vomited on her bed. Thank goodness her father went up and did all the cleaning, and now I'm here wearing my surgery mask around the house like an idiot, and my daughter is running around and hollering like nothing ever happened. Can anybody tell me what might have made her sick just ONCE? If it was a stomach bug, she'd feel lots worse, wouldn't she? My husband said it looked like she hadn't digested any of last night's dinner. Sorry this is gross, but I'm totally freaked out at this point. And I'll say again, I know it seems like I'm overreacting, but this is a real, actual phobia I have, and I hate it! Thanks!

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Featured Answers

There is a stomach virus going around now, so be careful sharing drinks, food, etc...We have had it and almost everyone we know has had it. My son and a few others only vomited once. I thought maybe it was from allergies, but then he passed it on :> Stomach viruses effect them all in different ways.

from one phobic to another...yes i can happen only once...and may happen 1 more time...I know it is weird how kids can be sick and run around like nothing is going on.

I am one of those people who if someone get sick...so do I....by just hearing it.

But luckily the couple of times my daughter has been sick, I handled it without getting sick.

Personally...if you are afraid you going to get it...clean up the area with disinfectant and then take of the mask afterwards.

More Answers

Hi S.,

About a year ago my daughter began throwing up at night. She would be fine during the day but around two in the morning she would start getting sick. Her doctor sent her in for tests and it turned out she had acid reflux. She now takes a Zantac each night before bed. If she forgets she will get sick. We also began a food diary. We noticed that pizza made her sicker than other foods so we try to limit that now. Hope this helps. If she ends up being a child who throws up alot you can give her a bowl to keep by her bed. At least then it wouldn't be all over the bed. I know how it feels to have to deal with things you never ever want to deal with. I happen to be the same way about snot. Ugh! makes me want to yak just thinking about it! But as moms, sometimes we just have to cowgirl up.

Get some kitty litter and keep it at the house. I just buy the Hill Country Fare brand - it has antimicrobial properties, it helps with smell, and it absorbs the liquid quickly. The clean up is much easier after you pour this on and let it dry up and then sweep it up. I have a similar problem as you do, and this has helped me a lot. I still hate it, who doesn't? But, this helps with the smell and the look, etc.

from one phobic to another...yes i can happen only once...and may happen 1 more time...I know it is weird how kids can be sick and run around like nothing is going on.

I am one of those people who if someone get sick...so do I....by just hearing it.

But luckily the couple of times my daughter has been sick, I handled it without getting sick.

Personally...if you are afraid you going to get it...clean up the area with disinfectant and then take of the mask afterwards.

There is a stomach virus going around now, so be careful sharing drinks, food, etc...We have had it and almost everyone we know has had it. My son and a few others only vomited once. I thought maybe it was from allergies, but then he passed it on :> Stomach viruses effect them all in different ways.

Your child will be just fine, given how she is behaving! Just take it by the half day or day! If she refuses to eat even bland food(crackers, chicken soup, dry toast)etc., then she has a stomache bug! Not fun for either of you! My son has done this before, pretty much as you described it, is sick once, and what he has vomited, never digested! He was fine! Keep her plenty hydrated with clear fluids! I use sprite or gingerale, for both liquid, and for eneryg!

Good Luck, to you, keep wearing a mask if that is easiest way of coping!

I have 4 kids and they often throw up and then feel better....no fever. Just feel yucky and then throw up....no problem. i give them a bowl to throw up in and then it is easy to clean up. They have always given me plenty of warning. If they say mom my tummy hurts they sit on the couch watching tv with a bowl next to them just in case.

By often I meen maybe once a year but with 4 kids it feels like "often" I could be heat. or if they get over excited growth spurts anything really a child throwing up once and then acting like nothing happened is annoying but not neccesarily an illness.

That was so nice of your daughter to barf in her own bed...mine tend to climb into mine and then let it go! It's amazing how fast kids recover. I'd say it's totally normal to have a kid throw up then be just fine, no fever or anything. I'd feed her a bland diet for the rest of the day (applesauce, toast, bananas, rice are best for post-tummy sick meals) but be glad she's not still sick. As bad as chucking up a stomach full of food is, I can't stand to see my kids barfing when there's nothing left. Ooops, sorry to get graphic, I know you're sensitive about this subject.
Eventually, yes, you will have to clean up your child's sick. You may get sick, too, but it's okay. (Double for you to clean up, but not the end of the world.) Focus on the child, not the barf, and that may help you. Open the windows,close your eyes, hum or sing, you'll get through it.
I think the only reason it doesn't bother me too much is I was a bartender in college and cleaned up the vomit of drunken strangers...after that my own sweet baby's barf is no problem! :) I've also been a mom long enough to decide I'd rather deal with barf than diarrhea, no contest! ha ha ha!

P.: married mom of three boys (7,5,2) and also probably crazy!

My son has a very sensitive stomach. Whenever he has drainage from a cold or allergies, he'll throw up at least once - usually in the morning. He throws up and then he's fine (although he'll try to milk it so that he can watch TV!).

The virus that causes vomiting is one that you catch through contact - not through the air. You don't have to wear a mask (unless it's to shield you from the smell). I have successfully avoided getting it the last couple of times the kids had it by wearing gloves when I dealt with the cleaning. I also washed my hands like a maniac, used hand sanitizer and sprayed and wiped everything down with Lysol spray and Clorox wipes. It sounds excessive, but I didn't get sick!!!

Hope this helps!

Dont know if this helps but my Daughter is now 15 and she had this problem always. Sometimes they get a stomach virus and small fever but it always seemed like it was on the stomach. Went to Drs and they never found anything wrong with her. She would just get these "stomach virus" and it would have to run its course, fevers seemed to be on her tummy. My second child seldom got this. Just hang in there and keep a towel around the bed.


I came across your question today by chance. Your fear is called emetophobia, it is very common and it is treatable. I am a fully recovered emetophobic and the only clinical counselor in the world who specializes in emetophobia. I live in Canada (not Beverly Hills - lol - that was the only zip code I knew) however I treat people via Skype (Skype is a free video+audio calling service) anywhere in the world and I have a very high success rate.

You can read my story, my weekly blog, and find out more about me at http://www.emetophobiahelp.org

I think phobias are a somewhat taught thing. I am scared of heights, roaches, snakes, spiders, birds. All of which my mother was scared of. My father scared of spiders. Our neighbor was scared of dogs so her kids were too. She got over her fear and bought a small dog now none of the kids fear the dog.But I have also learned to over come these phobias. I realized that when I was stressed out that the fear was intencified. My fear of heights was so bad that I would sit down on the floor and wouldnt let anyone touch me for fear they were going to push me over!!! I just got over it and talked myself out of being scared and reminded myself about how rediculous I was being. For me personally I am a germ freak and I am not scared of my sons vomit or spit ups. If I were I would probley just put my hands in the spit up and really make myself get over that fear. I am not a docotr and I dont know what effects that would have on you doing that. Basically you need to put on your big girl panties and deal. Also try not to teach your kids that its ok to be scared of irrational things. I know its a big one but you gotta! And best of all you can over come your fears. Its yuck but do it momma! God bless and good luck

This happened recently with my younger daughter - she threw up one time and was fine afterwards. She did have a cold, so I figured it was either drainage from the mucus or possibly dinner the night before was a bit too rich for her. I wouldn't worry about it unless it happens regularly.

Here is the schedule of every stomach virus my children have had: (oh, the stomach virus has hit EVERY time @ 1.5 days after coming into contact w/ the virus from another person)

vomit, 6 hrs later again, then @ 3 hrs, then every 10 to 15 min for 3-5 hrs, then again 5 hrs after that. Sometimes, they get 'gastroenteritis', a condition where the digestive system will slow down after a virus. Then out of the blue, they'll vomit their milk/formula/food sometimes twice a day for around 3 days...every child would be different.

Now. There are different reasons children vomit. It can be viral, bacterial, not sit well in the stomach (like a new food), a food allergy, or heavy mucous in the stomach. Mucous does NOT digest...it goes out the top or bottom in the same form!! Sometimes, an electrolite balance can cause vomiting. One day I drank two gatorades and was SO SICK!! What did your daughter eat the night before? Has she had sinus/cold issues? Could she be lactose intolerant?

Whatever her reasons...the only way YOU will 'catch' it is if it's bacterial and you ate the same food...or viral. In either case...the cure is 2 tablespoons of Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar. I use organic...but for a virus or food poisoning..harsher vinegars are better. To make it bearable to swallow...mix in a lot of honey. It'll still take your breath away...but try not to chug too much water after it. Or it will dilute the vinegar in your stomach. I even take it after coming in contact w/ sick people. The vinegar is anti-bacterial and anti-viral...along w/ other good properties! I haven't tried it w/ my boys yet. I am hoping next time they catch the virus...I can use just 1 TBS w/ a LOT of honey and have them swallow it in one gulp! They'll never trust me again...but they won't be vomiting for days!!! Best of luck!

Quite simply, we vomit because our body has trouble processing something. It's our body's way of getting rid of whatever's not supposed to be there. (This is the same with diarrhea.) Sometimes external forces can affect our mind and body and result in expulsion. It can be as random as something going down the wrong way or a cough that triggers a reflex. If her food appeared to be unprocessed/undigested, it's possible that she is dehydrated and lacking sufficient fluids to produce acid in her stomach. That's just one possibility. How old is she? It could just be a matter of her body adjusting to different foods and her surroundings.

Sorry to tell you, but it'll happen again. The good news is that vomiting is but one of our body's many ways of taking care of itself. It'll happen again. If it'll make you feel better, talk to her doctor about all the reasons that people vomit and what is really happening when that occurs.

Sometimes they just don't digest the food...sometimes they just puke. Sorry, but it's totally normal. Throw up is one of those things that's pretty nasty, but a fact of life. Not necessarily a stomach bug, but I would change her to the BRAT diet for today. (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast) Just to be sure.
Good Luck!!
SAHM of 4 boys....17, 6, 4, 20 months.

Since your lovely husband could actually see the dinner? she ate too fast! Didn't chew her food well enough or her stomach to digest it, so it regurgitated!! My son did that with pizza one time!! Your phobia? deal with it the best you can. My older son got that stomach flu one year and upchucked my bathroom, walls and all!! Just be a nice Mommy and let her know to try to make it to the bathroom. Thank Goodness my son did!

Kids throw up all the time. Sometimes they eat too fast; sometimes there is a stomach bug going around; sometimes they are excited.
The problem is not her throwing up - the biggest thing I see is your phobia. What are you going to do if your husband is not there and your child is really sick - perhaps flu, or a big stomach bug? The last thing your child will need is a freaked out Mom.
I am less concerned about your child than I am about you. Phobias are scary things and they are real. You are not crazy! You need to find out the reason for your phobia so that you can function. I know this is easier said than done and I am not saying you are silly or dumb - but fear is paralyzing. Find someone to talk to who can help you figure out why you have this phobia.

Hi S.-

If your daughter wasn't feeling bad before or after the episode then I think it's safe to say it's nothing contagious and you can take off the mask. :-)

You'll love this one....my daughter used to vomit a lot!! Anytime she was crying hard she would make herself throw up. I can't even tell you how many nights we would put her to bed, she would cry and then we'd hear that gagging coughing sound and knew what had happened. If she threw a tantrum over something she could easily end up vomiting. Can you imagine...my choice was to give into a tantrum with a 3 year old, or clean up vomit. Anyway, I trained her early to go to the bathroom if she was throwing a tantrum and she did outgrow this phase. The reason I'm sharing this is that the reflex to vomit is a strange thing and can be triggered by a lot of different things. It doesn't mean that she is "sick" or that you will catch anything.

In regards to your phobia, you might want to get some help with it. It is something that will continue to happen and when it does you don't want your children to be scared by it because of your reaction. You want to be able to comfort them and make them feel better.

Good Luck,

It may be a bug. My kids would get a stomach virus when they were little and it didn't bother them at all, except for the vomiting. It could have been any number of other things though, like post nasal drip, or acid reflux or an allergy. If it is a bug, you will want to give her foods that do not bother her tummy for 24 hours (bread, crackers, broth). Like I said, especially with my little boy, he would throw up and then say he was hungry and go play and seem fine, but then a little while later, bang, all over again.

Hi S.,

I understand your phobia. NO body likes vomit. My husband usually takes care of the clean up too. It isn't that bad with me anymore because after having all the vomit patients in nursing school you get desensitised. Little kids can often be sick and still run around playing. If she throws up again remember that you are her mother and she needs you. Your inner mommy power should take over. One of the best ways to get over a fear is to face it head on. Have courage! You can do it!

If she is running around and playing, she is probably just fine. I wouldn't worry about catching it, I don't catch stuff from my little man and we have had some serious puke around here even though he is only 13 months old! She may have just eaten something that did not agree with her or might have just eaten a little too much. If she does have another episode, give her pedialyte, or sprite, just keep her hydrated and give the dr. a call. You know, I used to be phobic about roaches. It was horrible, so I know what a phobia can do to you. I think what got me over it was actually living in a country where there were big huge roaches a lot due to the climate. I lived alone and just had to deal with them. It was pretty horrible, but I got through it and did not die!! Now I can deal with them much better if I have to. I still don't like them though, but I don't just lose it over the sight of one. I agree with another mom, that you may have to get some help with this as kids do throw up from time to time. Maybe just having to deal with it from time to time will help, if not seek out some help. Sorry that you have to deal with this, not fun!! I think that prayer is the number one thing that helps in all things, so don't hesitate to ask for God's help, he understands all of our problems! Have a great day :)

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