My Two Year Old Is Throwing Up & Has Rapid Respiration

Vomiting and rapid breathing in your two-year-old are alarming and troublesome. Although they are not always cause for alarm, these symptoms sometimes signal a serious condition or infection that requires a doctor's treatment. This makes it essential to understand what causes vomiting and rapid respiration and how you can treat it.


Rapid respiration and vomiting in your two-year-old can last anywhere from a few hours to several days. They are sometimes accompanied by additional symptoms such as pain in the middle of the abdomen, a fever, sore throat, swollen glands in the neck, head pain, white splotches of color on the tonsils or inside of the throat, wheezing and a runny nose. In some circumstances, a red rash will develop on the creases of your child's skin or underneath his arms.

Possible Causes

Vomiting and rapid respiration are sometimes signs of an intestinal infection such as viral gastroenteritis. Bacterial infections, such as strep throat, also trigger rapid breathing and vomiting. In addition, lung infections, like bronchiolitis or pneumonia, contribute to symptoms. In severe cases, appendicitis, which is a dangerous inflammation of the appendix that develops when the opening of the it becomes blocked and infected, often results in your two-year-old breathing quickly and throwing up.


Keep your toddler hydrated with an oral rehydration solution, water and plenty of sugar-free fluids. If your child's doctor approves, give her children's acetaminophen if vomiting and rapid respiration are accompanied by other symptoms such as abdominal pain or a fever. For bacterial infections, such as strep throat, your child's doctor will likely prescribe an antibiotic such as amoxicillin or penicillin to fight the infection and reduce symptoms. Serious conditions, such as appendicitis, must be treated immediately. Often the inflamed appendix will need to be removed surgically.


Seek immediate medical attention if your two-year-old experiences a stiff neck and head pain in addition to rapid respiration and vomiting. These are symptoms of meningitis, which is a dangerous infection of the fluid and membranes that surround your toddler's brain and spinal canal. In addition, call your child's doctor immediately if you suspect pneumonia. Some serious cases of pneumonia require hospitalization, intravenous antibiotics and fluids, and a fitted nasal oxygen mask or tube to help your child breathe.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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