Nausea and Vomiting in Teens: Care Instructions

Skip to the navigation

Your Care Instructions

When you are nauseated, you may feel weak and sweaty and notice a lot of saliva in your mouth. Nausea often leads to vomiting. Most of the time you do not need to worry about nausea and vomiting, but they can be signs of other illnesses.

Two common causes of nausea and vomiting are stomach flu and food-borne illness. Nausea and vomiting from viral stomach flu will usually start to improve within 24 hours. Nausea and vomiting from a food-borne illness may last from 12 to 48 hours.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of fluids, enough so that your urine is light yellow or clear like water. Choose water and other caffeine-free clear liquids until you feel better.
  • Rest in bed until you feel better.
  • When you are able to eat, try clear soups, mild foods, and liquids until all symptoms are gone for 12 to 48 hours. Other good choices include dry toast, crackers, cooked cereal, and gelatin dessert, such as Jell-O.
  • Suck on peppermint candy or chew peppermint gum. Some people think peppermint helps an upset stomach.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have signs of needing more fluids. You have sunken eyes and a dry mouth, and you pass only a little dark urine.
  • You have a fever with a stiff neck or a severe headache.
  • You are sensitive to light or feel very sleepy or confused.
  • You have new or worsening belly pain.
  • You have a new or higher fever.
  • You vomit blood or what looks like coffee grounds.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • The vomiting lasts longer than 2 days.
  • You vomit more than 10 times in 1 day.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

Enter F818 in the search box to learn more about "Nausea and Vomiting in Teens: Care Instructions".