Any discomfort or pain between the chest and the pelvis is considered abdominal pain. At some point, every youngster will have stomach distress, and most of the time it won’t be anything significant. Usually, children who experience stomach pain get better and continue to grow.
Anywhere in the abdomen can feel discomfort or cramping as abdominal pain (tummy, belly, or stomach)? Abdominal pain is a common complaint among kids. It is among the most frequent causes of pediatric doctor visits. Most episodes of stomach pain in children are not serious, and they frequently recover on their own.
Functional abdominal pain is persistent stomach discomfort that does not go away after receiving standard medical therapy.
You may usually wait for your child to feel better with home care treatments if they have minimal tummy pain. If your child exhibits any of the following symptoms:
- Even though it comes and goes, the stomach ache that lasts longer than a week
- Stomach ache that worsens over time, becomes more frequent
- Causes the youngster to feel sick or vomit
- Stomach discomfort that does not go away in a day
- A scorching sensation when urinating
- More than two days of diarrhea
- More than 12 hours of vomiting
- Higher than 100.4 Fahrenheit fever
- Unable to eat for more than two days
- Unaccounted-for weight loss
Abdominal pain can occasionally be an indication of a more serious condition. Immediately seek medical attention for your child if they:
- Is a newborn who gets diarrhea or vomiting and is under three months old?
- Is unable to urinate, particularly if the youngster is vomiting.
- Has to blood on their faces or if they’re vomiting blood (especially if the blood is maroon or dark, tarry black)
- Has acute, abrupt stomach discomfort
- Has a firm, unyielding belly.
- Has recently suffered an abdominal injury
- Is having respiratory difficulties
- Is undergoing cancer treatment at the moment.
What signs do abdominal pain exhibit?
The onset of abdominal pain might be sudden or gradual. Children frequently experience additional symptoms linked to the source of their abdominal pain, such as:
- Excessive bowel motions or gas
What causes tummy aches in kids?
The complex network of nerves and muscles in the gastrointestinal tract moves food through the digesting process. Some children have extremely sensitive nerves that can cause pain even in reaction to routine digestive functions.
Lack of food intake, a lack of bathroom visits, or a combination of the two is the most frequent causes of stomach pain. Abdominal pain might occasionally be the result of a specific issue like constipation, heartburn, or a food allergy. Other times, the root cause might not be as obvious.
The gut nerves may become more sensitive to pain due to illness, stress, or lack of sleep. It’s possible that the issue is genetic in certain circumstances, which would suggest that it “runs in the family” and that other family members have experienced the issue in the past.
Bowel (gut) issues include constipation or irritable bowel syndrome.
Infections, like gastroenteritis (which results in diarrhea, runny poop, and vomiting), or urine infections.
Mesenteric adenitis: Viral infections can cause the lymph nodes in the abdomen to swell.
Issues such as blockage in the bowel or appendicitis may require surgery.
Monthly pain is known as “period pain” and can happen either before or during a menstrual cycle.
Food-related issues include overeating, food poisoning, food intolerances, and allergies.
Some kids have abdominal pain as a result of anxiety or stress.
Sometimes the reason for the abdominal pain cannot be determined.
How to treat children with abdominal pain
More specialist gastrointestinal services are available at our hospital than at any other, and our Division of Gastroenterology, Hematology, and Nutrition works with parents and kids to address various types of belly pain. If your child requires specialist care, our highly qualified team will collaborate with you, you’re family, and other members to create a unique treatment plan.
Children’s Abdominal Pain | Diagnosis & Treatments
How is tummy pain identified?
A medical professional will ask about the child’s stomach pain, including when and how it first appeared, where it was, what kind of pain it was, and how it changed over time. Parents should inform the clinical team of any allergies or a history of dietary intolerances that their kid may have.
To rule out particular conditions linked to stomach pain, the child’s physician may request tests of the child’s blood, urine, and stool. Additional in-depth testing, including an x-ray or endoscopy, may be required if the child’s medical history, physical examination, or lab results raise additional concerns.
How are children’s abdominal pains treated?
The care team will develop a treatment strategy once they have determined the cause of the discomfort. Treatment options for underlying anxiety or depression may include dietary adjustments, medication, or behavioral strategies depending on the underlying reason. Most children with stomach pain continue to grow properly and gain weight with the proper care.
The following broad strategies can help your child feel better:
Encourage your youngster to drink the recommended amount of water. Making sure your child drinks is crucial since it helps to prevent dehydration (loss of water). Dehydration is covered in our fact sheet.
Allow your child to eat anything they want if they are hungry, or provide bland items like crackers, rice, bananas, or bread. If your child is ill, do not make them eat. When they feel better, they will resume eating.
Encourage people to use the restroom. Pooing might occasionally make the ache go away.
It can occasionally help to rub a child’s stomach or provide a distraction, such as reading a book.
If your child is suffering, give them ibuprofen or paracetamol. See our fact sheet on pediatric pain management. If ibuprofen upsets your child’s stomach, give them some milk or food.
Abdominal pain attacks that keep happening
Some kids experience abdominal pain attacks repeatedly, which can be very unsettling for parents. Frequently, no health issue may be identified. When children are concerned about themselves or those around them, they may experience abdominal pain.
Consider whether something at home, at school, in kindergarten, or with friends is distressing your child. Ask your doctor for advice. A pediatrician, gastroenterologist (a doctor who specializes in stomach issues), or psychologist may need to be referred to your child.
Essentials to keep in mind
- Most youngsters who experience abdominal pain do so naturally.
- To avoid dehydration, make sure your youngster consumes lots of water.
- The cause is frequently unknown, however, occasionally it becomes clearer with time.
- Take your child as quickly as you can to your doctor or the nearest hospital if they have abdominal pain and appear ill.