Children have stomach aches all the time and they are not always a cause for concern. However, severe abdominal pain that lasts for more than a few days or pain that is accompanied by other symptoms may indicate something serious.
Any parent who is concerned about their child’s health should schedule a pediatric sick visit at North Texas Health Services. An experienced pediatrician in Denton or Collin County can review her symptoms and provide comprehensive treatment options.
What causes stomach ache in children?
There are several reasons why children may experience abdominal pain, including:
- Constipation: When the stool becomes hard and dry, it becomes difficult to pass. This can make your child feel bloated and uncomfortable.
- Food intolerance: Children may be sensitive to certain foods or ingredients. Stomach pain is a sign that the digestive system is having trouble breaking down a particular food.
- Stomach Viruses: A stomach virus is contagious and can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, along with abdominal discomfort.
- Stress or anxiety: Emotional stress sometimes manifests itself as physical symptoms, including stomach pain
How does your stomach ache feel?
Parents should pay attention to the location, duration, and intensity of their child’s stomach pain. This can help you and your pediatrician narrow down possible causes. As a parent, you may need to ask specific questions, such as:
- Is the pain dull or sharp?
- Is the stomach pain constant or does it come and go?
- Is there anything that makes the pain better or worse?
- Where is the pain?
When to Seek Medical Care for Stomach Pain
Mild or infrequent stomach pain may not require a pediatric sick visit. However, you should contact North Texas Health Services if the pain is severe, continuous, or is accompanied by symptoms such as:
- Fever over 101º F
- Abdominal distension
- Blood in the stool
- rapid weight loss
Relieve abdominal pain at home
Our pediatricians can recommend home remedies to help ease your child’s stomach ache. These may include:
- Over-the-counter medications: ibuprofen and acetaminophen can reduce fever and pain. Be sure to follow the dosage instructions on the package.
- Increase fluid intake: Water, clear broths, or an electrolyte drink can prevent dehydration if your child vomits or has diarrhea.
- Eliminate certain foods: If you think your child’s stomach ache may be due to a food intolerance, try eliminating that food from their diet for a few days to see if the pain goes away.
- Warm compress – Applying a warm towel to the area of pain can provide relief.