Diarrhoea and vomiting in children is very common and usually short-lived. It is usually caused by infection in the stomach and/or bowel. If the attack is in the stomach then vomiting occurs. If it is lower in the bowel the main problem is diarrhoea with loose, watery stools. Doctors will usually collect a stool sample, to try to discover which germ has caused the infection but it usually takes a few days for the result to come back. The younger the child the more important it is to have an assessment made by a health professional to ensure that your child is not dehydrated. With simple uncomplicated diarrhoea and vomiting (eg caused by common gastroenteritis viruses) the hydration status is probably the most important factor. If there are other features (eg bloody diarrhoea) then it is important that your child is reviewed by a health care professional who is used to dealing with childhood disease.
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