Vomit, puke, throwing up – whatever you call it, it’s disgusting! But why do we do it?

Fun Facts

  • The most common reason people throw up is because they have a stomach bug – a nasty virus that causes tummy trouble. Another common reason is because they ate something that didn’t agree with them or had actually gone bad. Strep throat, migraine headaches, and motion sickness can also cause vomiting.
  • Even though it’s no fun, throwing up is your body’s way of getting rid of something bad. And most of the time, after you puke, you feel better.
  • If you feel like you have to throw up, get to a sink or toilet as fast as you can. Throwing up at school or in public is embarrassing, but it happens. Don’t worry about it and don’t make a big deal out of it if someone else throws up.
  • After you throw up, rinse your mouth out and wash your face. You can brush your teeth to get rid of the yucky taste in your mouth. If you feel like it, try little sips of water or a cracker, but don’t eat or drink very much until you know you’re feeling better.
  • Puke comes in lots of different colors, usually depending on what you recently ate. If you had a red Popsicle®, your vomit will probably be red. If you haven’t eaten anything in a while, you might have clear puke.
  • Scientists at North Carolina State University built a puking machine to help them study the norovirus.
  • Nobody likes to puke, but emetophobia is a serious fear of throwing up.


  1. Strep throat: an infection that causes a sore throat
  2. Virus: a microscopic organism that can cause illness

Questions and Answers

Question: Do I need to go to the doctor if I throw up?

Answer: Generally, no. Puking is your body’s way of getting rid of something harmful. But, if you’re throwing up for more than a few hours and you’re not able to drink anything, it might be time to go to the doctor.

Learn More

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