Vomiting and Diarrhoea

Vomiting and diarrhoea can be caused by contagious viral infections and are otherwise known as ‘tummy bugs’ which may lead to rapid dehydration.

The biggest risk associated with vomiting and diarrhoea is dehydration from losing a large amount of fluid and electrolytes. The symptoms of dehydration can be alleviated by sipping on small amounts of an electrolyte solution like Hydralyte while you recover and get back on your feet.


How to prevent the spread of viral infections

If one of your family members have been struck down with an infection that causes vomiting or diarrhoea, you should:

  • Wash your hands in soapy water after nappy changes and going to the toilet and before food preparation or eating
  • Try to cover vomit (close the toilet lid immediately) to avoid the airborne spread of particles
  • Clean contaminated surfaces with detergent, warm water and bleach
  • Avoid vacuuming as this can spread viral particles

If your child is vomiting or has diarrhoea, keep them home from childcare or school for a minimum of 48 hours and avoid swimming pools for 14 days after the symptoms stop.


Monitoring your child

If your child is vomiting or has diarrhoea, then it’s very important to keep track of their fluid intake. Children (and the elderly) are more at risk of dehydration.

It’s recommended that you keep a record of how much fluid your child is taking in, versus how often they are vomiting or going to the toilet. Make these observations every 15 minutes – the information will be useful for your doctor.

Top tip: offer your child the Hydralyte Electrolyte Ice Block to suck on.

Download our Oral Fluid Intake Chart


Rehydrating with Hydralyte

Hydralyte is scientifically formulated to contain the correct balance of glucose and electrolytes for rapid rehydration. The formulation is based on the World Health Organisation criteria for effective rehydration. Water alone, or sugary drinks are not as effective as Hydralyte, as they do not replace electrolytes which are lost during bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea



Age in years Electrolyte Powder

(Take in first 6 hours)

Electrolyte Solution Effervescent Electrolyte Tablets

(recommended dose in first 6 hours)

Under 12 months 1-2 100mL / 90 mins 200-400mL 200-400mL
1-3 years 2-3 100mL / 90 mins 400-600mL 400-600mL
3-6 years 3-4 100mL / 60 mins 600-900mL 600-900mL
7-12 years 4-7 100mL / 30 mins 900-1500mL 900-1500mL
Over 12 years 7-10 200mL / 30 mins 1200-2000mL

Continue to use Hydralyte while vomiting and/or diarrhoea persist and while symptoms of dehydration are present.

When can you eat food again?

Once you or your child is able to keep down significant fluids, you can gradually reintroduce solid foods. Avoid sweet, fatty and spicy foods – instead, try things like rice, potatoes, bread, cooked cereals and dry biscuits.



Seek medical advice if vomiting or diarrhoea persists for more than:

  • 6 hours in infants under 6 months
  • 12 hours in children under 3 years
  • 24 hours in children aged 3-6 years
  • 48 hours in children over 6 years and adults