Diarrhoea and vomiting are common in adults, children and babies. They’re often caused by a stomach bug and should stop in a few days.
The advice is the same if you have diarrhoea and vomiting together or separately.
You can usually treat yourself or your child at home. The most important thing is to have lots of fluids to avoid dehydration.
stay at home and get plenty of rest
drink lots of fluids, such as water or squash – take small sips if you feel sick
carry on breast or bottle feeding your baby – if they’re being sick, try giving small feeds more often than usual
give babies on formula or solid foods small sips of water between feeds
eat when you feel able to – you do not need to eat or avoid any specific foods
take paracetamol if you’re in discomfort – check the leaflet before giving it to your child
do not have fruit juice or fizzy drinks – they can make diarrhoea worse
do not make baby formula weaker – use it at its usual strength
do not give children under 12 medicine to stop diarrhoea
do not give aspirin to children under 16
In adults and children:
Stay off school or work until you’ve not been sick or had diarrhoea for at least 2 days.
If you also have a high temperature or do not feel well enough to do your normal activities, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until you feel better.
To help avoid spreading an infection:
wash your hands with soap and water frequently
wash any clothing or bedding that has poo or vomit on it separately on a hot wash
clean toilet seats, flush handles, taps, surfaces and door handles every day
do not prepare food for other people, if possible
do not share towels, flannels, cutlery or utensils
do not use a swimming pool until 2 weeks after the symptoms stop
Speak to a pharmacist if:
They may recommend:
111 will tell you what to do. They can arrange a phone call from a nurse or doctor if you need one.
Get an urgent GP appointment
A GP may be able to help you.
Ask your GP practice for an urgent appointment.
Check with the GP surgery before going in. A GP may speak to you on the phone.
You probably will not know exactly what the cause is, but the main causes of diarrhoea and vomiting are treated in the same way.
The most common causes are:
Page last reviewed: 07-12-2020
Next review due:07-12-2023