Vomiting and Diarrhea – when to worry

"Stop crying Charlie!"

Here’s a great topic for a beautiful Thursday — throw up. See this picture? It sums up my family vacation (or, as my husband appropriately calls it, family trip, since going away with little kids is never much of a vacation.) Under the bucket is the son of satan, also known as my son, Charlie. Slamming the bucket on his head is his, normally tolerant, twin brother, Shane. No one could take the whining and crying anymore, so “little” bro, without prompting, solved the problem with a sand toy. “Stop Crying, Charlie!”, he snapped. Can’t believe we got the picture, but wish we had the video. Shane is my new favorite kid. For over a week, in addition to dealing with the general annoying behavior, we were going through diapers like they were cold beers on a hot day. Clearly, we have too many kids because instead of feeling bad for our little sick guy, we were googling “Vacation Sitters For Hire” on our iPhones. Finally, finally, we arrived home to a sane world where capable babysitters are on-call. Just as my husband is carrying Damian out of the car, into the house and up the stairs, the real exorcism begins. Hellooo partially digested airplane food — everywhere. You would’ve thought a fraternity rush class had been there. Several bottles of wine and one bottle of bleach later, I started to at least consider worrying.

When a responsible parent should worry.
1. If you have reason to suspect the child has ingested something poisonous.

2. If the vomit or the diarrhea contains any blood.

3. If the child is complaining of pain, especially localized to one spot.

4. If the child has a fever lasting for more than three days or one that is unresponsive to antipyretics (anti-fever) medications.

5. If there are signs of dehydration. These include:
– markedly decreased or absent urination
– very dry mouth
– lethargy
– few or no tears
– headache
– sunken eyes

The other thing that should make you worry is … worry. Go with your paternal gut. If you just don’t feel this is a normal stomach bug, talk to your doctor. If the symptoms are severe and prolonged, talk to your doctor. Charlie’s symptoms have been going on for a painfully long (for me) time, but they come and go and are mild. He is drinking and eating normally, and this is a great indication we can suspend real concern. My efforts now are mostly focused on which boarding schools accept two year olds. If this is how he handles a mild stomach issue, can you imagine what we have in store when he starts preschool??

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