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RocketSquid's avatar

Are children more prone to vomiting?

Asked by RocketSquid (3475points) February 22nd, 2010

Seems like all my coworkers with children will have weekly stories about one of their kids throwing up with a stomach flu or some other kind of bug. Yet when one of my adult friends complains that they were sick with a stomach bug, I never hear of any vomiting.

Are children more prone to vomiting than adults? Or are there just more childhood illnesses that cause it?

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20 Answers

Val123's avatar

Children are prone to more illnesses than adults, period. Adults, for the most part, have already developed immunities to the colds and flus going around, by having gotten them one time in their lives before.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

My cooking causes that in all age groups ,so I’d have to disagree with your statement ;)

erichw1504's avatar

I don’t have any children yet, but I do have cats and, boy, do they vomit a lot!

john65pennington's avatar

Our children never had this problem. either, my wife and i were the luckiest people on earth, or our children were just not prone to vomiting. even when they were sick, i cannot remember a single incident when they threw up. my wife just corrected and said it was very few times that our children threw up.

galileogirl's avatar

I think children are more likely to eat food past it’s prime. they are more likel to carry bacteria and viruses on dirty hands, and they are more likely to overeat fatty, sweet and rich foods. Along with the fact their GI tracts are considerably shorter and they are less likely to take a preventative at the first sign of nausea, they become little vomiting machines

RocketSquid's avatar

I have to confess, I’m asking because my coworker in the next cubicle is always talking about his kid upchucking, and I really don’t want to get sick myself. Staying home sick is one thing, staying home technicolor yawning is something else entirely.

Val123's avatar

@john65pennington LOL! Several years ago my daughter came down with a flu. I knew my son would be about 24 hours behind her, and he was. I knew I wouldn’t get it, because I got it when I was 16. Anyway, Their bedrooms were upstairs, and Corrie’s room had a bathroom that could be accessed from her room, as well as from the hall.
Well, my poor son was in there just sicker than a dog. My daughter, who is normally hyper-possessive about that bath room, looked at her brother in sympathy and said, “Oh, poor Chris. I know exactly how he feels. He can sleep on the floor of my bathroom if he wants.” It was SUCH a nice and generous gesture on her part that I didn’t want to laugh out loud in front of her, so I waited till she was out of ear shot!

Sarcasm's avatar

Even if children and adults are exactly as prone to vomiting as eachother..
There’s still the matter of control. I’d expect most adults to be able to get to a toilet or a trash can when they feel the need to vomit.
Kids kinda just.. barf. Sometimes it’s in an alright location, but I’d expect not often enough.

So cleaning up barf from the carpet is going to be a lot more work than flushing the toilet. So it makes sense your coworkers would complain more about it.

Or, if not for that reason, how about the thought simply that adults are more independent. If they’re sick, they kind of take care of themselves. Kids will need more attention. So even if the barf itself is insignificant, there’s more effort put into caring for your kid. Mentioning the vomit is just giving a highlight of the afternoon.

JLeslie's avatar

I think children are more likely to throw up than an adult, but puking every week doesn’t sound right. Very young children have there organs closer together, and everything seems to affect everything. Like, a kid might have a coughing fit, and wind up throwing up. They also catch more stomach flu’s, probably partly because they have not had them yet, to build up immunity. Children also are more likely to have their whole bodies more “sick” than adults when they catch viral and bacterial infections; like adults almost never have a fever with a cold, but children often do, their bodies are more traumitized in general than adults when something is going wrong. Lastly, children have smaller stomachs, and as their appetites grow, sometimes they overeat and throw up just from that.

I have a phobia of throwing up, and I am very aware of when I do it. It has been over 20 years since the last time I had a stomach flu, but I certainly remember having them as a child.

DominicX's avatar

I agree with a lot of what has been said here. Kids are often more likely to get colds and flus. Control definitely also has something to do with it. I have felt the urge to throw up before but have been able to suppress it. When you’re a little kid, you don’t really do that; you just let it happen. That’s my memory, at least. Truth to be told, I haven’t thrown up in a while and the majority of times I have was when I was a little kid.

JLeslie's avatar

I guess I was a little different than others. I tried to surpress it at all costs. Throwing up is the worst kind of sick for me, always has been. People would tell me to throw up and then I would supposedly feel better, and I thought they were nuts, still do. But, I do agree that kids are probably less able to control it.

SeventhSense's avatar

Cute..such altruism.

DominicX's avatar


haha…for me, I would always try to avoid it, but I really did feel better afterward. It’s quite the relief. :)

Val123's avatar

@JLeslie It’s not my favorite thing to do, but if it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen. PLUS you often feel so much better afterward.

MissAusten's avatar

I think everyone covered it pretty well. Kids just don’t have the same levels of immunity that adults do, and catch more bugs for a while.

I’d also bet that someone would be more willing to say, “My kid puked all over the place” but be more tactful about their own stomach issues. I probably wouldn’t tell a coworker I’d been puking, I’d just say I had a stomach virus.

Also, some people just puke more often. Even kids vary a lot. I have three, and my youngest is a hurler. He’ll throw up from coughing too much or from a lot of post nasal drip. He gags on his toothbrush, which always freaks me out. He’s only 4 so I help him brush his teeth and I get very jumpy worrying that he’s going to puke on me. I’ve even seen him gag when watching someone else eat something he doesn’t like or when he smells something strong (not necessarily a bad smell, just a strong smell). He’s way more sensitive than my other two kids, and of course vomits more often. Not every week or every month, but maybe a few times a year.

At least all of my kids are old enough now to know when they’re going to puke and run for the bathroom. They usually make it to the toilet. It’s a huge improvement over the days when they were too little to understand about puking in the toilet and would just let go wherever they happened to be. Ugh.

casheroo's avatar

No, parents just enjoy telling battle stories of cleaning up vomit.

MissAusten's avatar

Yeah, and I still haven’t heard one that tops regurgitated Spaghettios in the carpet, crib, stuffed animals, and toddler’s hair. The smell alone was horrifying. I haven’t been able to look at Spaghettios since. ;)

YoH's avatar

Some children have a hyper gag reflex. A gag can escalate into vomiting,even though they aren’t ill. My youngest child would gag on the texture of certain foods,like a fried egg. The Dr. said my son would probably outgrow it and he did.

filmfann's avatar

children have much more sensitive stomaches than adults, so they vomit more.
However, they also vomit much easier than adults. I have seen children puke, and a moment later they are happy. When I puke, it is an agonizing ordeal.

YARNLADY's avatar

It runs in some families and not others. My family are barfers, but hubby’s family is not.

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