Stomach pain in children

An Overview

Children often complain of stomach pain. It is one of the most common reasons parents take children to their doctor or the hospital emergency department. Stomach pain can be hard to diagnose. The doctor will ask you questions then examine your child. Some children suffer repeat attacks of stomach pain, which can be worrying for parents. Often, no health problem can be found.

Children may feel stomach pain when they are worried about themselves or people around them. Think about whether there is anything that is upsetting your child at home, school or kindergarten or with friends. Sometimes a problem may be quite obvious, so no tests are needed.

Symptoms of stomach pain in children

A parent or caregiver usually can notice pain in a child’s abdomen. Infants and very young toddlers may cry, express pain facially, and curl up. Young children are usually quick to tell you what is wrong.
• Gas
• Rubbing around the belly button
• Duration of the pain: Most simple causes of abdominal pain do not last long. Most of us have experienced gas pains or the stomach/gut flu,
• Especially if the pain is located low and down on the right side of the abdomen
• You “just know” that the child is very sick,
• Pale appearance
• Child’s Appearance. You may be able to detect the severity of your child’s condition if you find that your child is pale, sweaty, sleepy, or listless. He may also refuse to eat or drink.
• Sweating
• Sleepiness or listlessness
• Vomiting
• Rashes. If your child complains of stomach pain and also develops rashes on the skin, you need to get immediate medical help, as it may be scarlet fever or another such ailment, all of which are serious medical issues.
• Diarrhea
• Fever. A stomach ache accompanied by a fever is not associated with serious health issues. In fact, in some cases of serious health complications, there may be no fever with the abdominal pain.
• Groin pain
• Urinary problem

Causes of Stomach Pain

As in adults, abdominal pain and diarrhea in children are commonly caused by the stomach flu, infections, food allergies, lactose intolerance, and stress. There are many health problems that can cause stomach pain for children, including:

1. Milk Allergy: Some children have an allergic reaction to the protein present in milk, which may cause stomach pain. A milk allergy can also cause cramps, vomiting, rashes, and diarrhoea in children.
2. Bowel (gut) problems – constipation, colic or irritable bowel
3. Digestion Problems or Constipation: Bad or improper digestion, or constipation, may also cause stomach pain in children. A lack of fibre and roughage in the diet can cause constipation.
4. infections: Gastroenteritis, kidney or bladder infections, or infections in other parts of the body like the ear or chest
5. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI): Urinary tract infections may cause pain and discomfort in the abdomen of your child. The pain associated with a UTI is generally noticed in the lower abdominal region.
6. Food-related problems: Too much food, food poisoning or food allergies
7. Lead Poisoning: Lead poisoning is usually seen in younger children, those who tend to put everything in their mouths. Lead poisoning can cause a stomach ache, along with other symptoms such as constipation, lethargy and poor appetite.
8. Appendicitis: An inflamed appendix can cause intense stomach pain in your child. This is a serious kind of stomach ache, and needs immediate medical attention, as it can be fatal if not treated at the right time
9. Problems outside the abdomen: Muscle strain or migraine
10. Surgical problems: Appendicitis, bowel obstruction or insusceptible (telescoping of part of the gut)
11. Period pain: some girls can have pain before their periods.


To determine the cause of abdominal pain and diarrhea, your doctor will first perform a physical exam. They’ll also ask some questions about your health history and lifestyle. Traveling to certain countries may increase your risks of digestive disease. When a problem is quite obvious, no tests are needed. If tests are needed, they may include:
• Blood tests
• Medical History of the Child. The doctor may inquire about your child’s medical history, and even ask about the family’s medical history, to check for any autoimmune, or other, disorders.
• Urine test
• Colonoscopy: A colonoscopy involves sending a camera into the rectum and intestines to check for signs of damage and signs of disease, such as ulcers and polyps.
• Stool (poo) sample
• X-rays
• Other special tests
• Review by a specialist doctor.


Abdominal pain in children can often be treated with home care. Assure the child is getting enough rest, give fluids to avoid dehydration, avoid solid food, aspirin, antibiotics. Your child’s treatment will depend on what the doctor thinks is causing their pain. Treatment may be as simple as sending your child home with advice to rest, take fluids and eat a bland diet. Other treatment options include hospital admission and surgery.

  • Adequate rest helps the child to recover quickly.
  • Avoid spicy or greasy foods and caffeinated or carbonated drinks until 48 hours after all symptoms have gone away.
  • In case of diarrhoea and vomiting, make sure the child consumes sufficient fluids.
    Refrain from force-feeding your child. If he wishes to eat, serve light and frequent meals.
  • Prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to treat PMS.
  • Anti-parasitic drugs to kill parasites
  • General suggestions on easing the pain include:
  • Make sure your child gets plenty of rest.
  • Help your child drink plenty of clear fluids such as cooled boiled water or juice.
  • Do not push your child to eat if they feel unwell.
  • If your child is hungry, offer bland food such as crackers, rice, bananas or toast.
  • Place a hot water bottle or wheat bag on your child’s tummy or run a warm bath for them. Take care not to scald yourself or your child.

Hope this Symptoms and cure article will be helpful to all. Do not forget to share your valuable suggestions if any.


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