How Is Abdominal Pain Diagnosed In Children
A doctor will ask you questions about their pain. They will put your child at ease before carefully examining them. Sometimes tests will be needed to find the cause of abdominal pain in a child. These include:
Drink Prune Juice To Relieve Stomach Pain
Stomach pain from constipation tends to radiate from the lower part of your abdomen and sometimes features a periodic shifting or gurgling feeling accompanied by a temporary spike in pain.
When constipation is your cause, consider a glass of prune juice or another type of laxative. If effective, you can expect to experience sudden relief.
Stomach Pain Around The Belly Button
Stomach pain around or near a child’s belly button is usually nothing to worry about. It’s one of the most common stomach pain complaints among kids.
“Children often rub their bellies when they hurt and complain about general pain around the belly button,” says Dr. Mehta. “This type of stomach pain is typically caused by stress or eating something that didn’t quite agree with them.”
If your child is complaining about stomach pain near the belly button, you can:
- Encourage them to lay down and rest
- Check to see if they need to poop
- Offer a glass of water
- Try distracting them by reading a book together or playing a quiet game
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Symptoms Related To Stomach Pain
The symptoms that come with stomach pain depend on whats causing the stomach pain.
Stomach cramps and general stomach pain might be associated with food intolerance, excess wind, indigestion and bloating.
Tummy pain that doesnt go away could be constipation or a urinary tract infection. Children with a urinary tract infection might also have pain when doing a wee and be doing more wees than normal. They might also have a fever, be vomiting and feel irritable.
A sore tummy is more likely to be a sign of something serious if it wakes your child up, or if the pain is in a specific area of the abdomen, away from your childs belly button. For example, in appendicitis, the pain is usually sharp, and the pain often starts in the middle then moves to the lower right section of the abdomen. Your child might also have fever, loss of appetite and vomiting.
With all types of stomach pain, theres a risk that your child will become dehydrated. You should watch for signs of dehydration, including sunken eyes, less urination than usual, lethargy and weight loss.
Find The Right Formula
Choose an easy-to-digest formula to ensure it won’t upset your baby’s tummy. “For babies with gassy tummies, hard or pasty stools, or digestive upset with formula, it may be helpful to try a formula that has the milk proteins partially broken down already, which for some babies can make them easier to digest,” suggests Amy Lynn Stockhausen, M.D., an associate professor of general pediatrics and adolescent medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. “These are often labeled as ‘gentle,’ and often also contain less lactose than regular formulas. For some babies, it may also be useful to look for a formula that contains probiotics, as some recent research suggests that probiotics can be helpful to aid in digestion for fussy infants and are generally considered safe in this context.” Before you make these changes, however, it’s important to discuss the matter with your baby’s pediatrician.
Rice Water To Relieve Stomachache
Last but not least, look to rice more specifically, look to the leftover water after you cook rice.
Rice water is capable of forming a coating over certain membranes like, for instance, the lining of your stomach. This barrier can be a soothing lining to help ease inflammation and offer relief from stomach pain.
For a simple rice water remedy, first wash one-half cup of white rice.
- Add rice to six cups of boiled water, cover, and allow to sit until rice is tender.
- Strain the water into a cup to cool.
- Add one-half teaspoon of honey.
- Sip on two cups daily.
Try A Warm Bath Or Towel
A bit of warmth can ease your baby’s upset stomach. “A warm towel isn’t a bad idea, or a warm bath can sometimes help Baby relax and move their bowels as well,” Dr. Alt says. “Just make sure they aren’t too hot!” Also, keep your baby comfy by avoiding tight diapers and waistbands, Dr. Loizides suggests.
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Things You Can Try To Soothe Your Baby
Your baby does not usually need to see a doctor if they have colic. Speak to your health visitor for advice and support.
Health visitors and doctors will usually advise you to:
- hold or cuddle your baby when they’re crying a lot
- sit or hold your baby upright during feeding to stop them swallowing air
- wind your baby after feeds
- gently rock your baby over your shoulder
- gently rock your baby in their Moses basket or crib, or push them in their pram
- bath your baby in a warm bath
- have some gentle white noise like the radio or TV in the background to distract them
- keep feeding your baby as usual
Other things you may hear about include:
- anti-colic drops and herbal and probiotic supplements
- changes to your diet if you’re breastfeeding
- applying gentle pressure to your baby’s spine or skull
But there’s very little evidence these things work. Speak to your health visitor for further advice.
Chamomile Tea To Cure Stomach Pain
Chamomile tea is known to work as an anti-inflammatory along the digestive tract.
If your stomach pain is caused by gastritis or indigestion, a cup of chamomile can offer relief. It does this by relaxing muscles along the stomach and the esophagus, easing the contractions that push food along, and lessens any cramps or spasms you are experiencing.
- Place one teaspoon of dried chamomile in one cup of boiled water.
- Cover and allow to steep for 15 minutes.
- Strain tea and add lemon or honey for taste.
- Drink up to three cups daily
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When To Speak With A Doctor
While most baby gas cases are fairly harmless, there are times when you should seek professional help.
If your baby exhibits excessive crying, has long crying bouts three or more times per day, or just recently began crying after reaching their first month, contact your pediatrician.
Also call the doctor or seek medical help if your little one isnt eating, peeing, or having regular bowel movements.
Stomach Pain On The Left Side Of The Abdomen
If your child is complaining about pain on the left side of their stomach, it could be caused by something as simple as constipation to a more severe condition like pancreatitis. Dr. Mehta reminds parents not to panic just because their child is experiencing pain.
“Most of the time, stomach pain on the left side is caused by something mild, like constipation. Rarely, it can be a sign of something more serious,” she says. “Your child’s pediatrician can work with you to better understand the pain and symptoms your child experiences to ensure they receive an accurate diagnosis and more importantly, find relief.”
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Drink Warm Lemon Water To Relieve Stomach Pain
Since pregnant women should avoid fennel, they can try warm lemon water instead. The high acidity of the lemon will trigger extra production of your stomachs hydrochloric acid to further break down food and keep things moving smoothly.
- Squeeze the juice from one-half of a lemon into one cup of warm water.
- Mix well and drink while warm.
When To See A Professional
So when should you call your child’s health care provider? Call immediately if the pain is severe and has lasted more than an hour or its constant and has lasted more than two hours. Or if you are worried about appendicitis or if the pain actually extends into the scrotum or testicles of boys. You may be advised to go to the children’s emergency room for further testing that may not be able to be done in your doctor’s office to evaluate for those serious causes that may need a surgeon.
So abdominal pain is something that again, we see very often and there are so many things that could cause it. By working with your child’s doctor, you can figure out what the cause of the pain is and a plan to help your child.
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When Should My Child See A Doctor
Most children will have a sore tummy / abdominal pain at some point. Mostly, it wont be a serious illness, but, if a baby or child has any of the following, you should take them to the doctor or hospital emergency department as soon as possible:
- severe abdominal pain
- pain that is made worse by movement
- pain that wakes them from sleep
- pain that comes and goes, or that doesnt go away, or that is getting worse
- pain and a fever
- problems passing urine
- pain when they pass urine
- they are pale, sweaty and lethargic
- they are tired and listless
- for more than 24 hours
- lots of diarrhoea
- signs of dehydration thirst, sunken eyes, drowsy, dry lips and tongue
- a skin rash as well as pain
- fewer than 4 wet nappies per day if they are a baby
- pain or swelling in their groin or testicles in a boy
Go straight to the hospital emergency department if there is:
- vomit that is green or bloody
- poo that is black or red , including bloody diarrhoea
And Remember Practice Safe Sleep Habits
Although your child may be able to fall asleep in an unsafe sleeping position or location, they should never be left alone unsupervised in a place that is less than 100 percent safe.
If you want your child to be able to self-soothe without you present, its essential that they be put to sleep in safe locations and in safe ways. Rockers, car seats, swings, and other devices arent the same as cribs. Babies shouldnt be left asleep alone in these locations.
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Why Are Pacifiers Such A Big Deal
As with most things related to newborns, using a pacifier can come with pluses and minuses. If your newborn is taking one , its probably their favorite go-to accessory. And while thoughts of braces in your babys future run through your head, youre probably more than a little thrilled that it soothes their crying.
Ahh, enjoy that silence. But then worry pops back into your head because you wonder if this carefree sucking might be habit-forming or interfering with feedings.
Your baby loves the pacifier, but is it healthy?
Go ahead and pop that pacifier back into juniors mouth. Not only is it super cute to see baby sucking away, the paci is also good for them and you in more ways than one.
Pacifiers have endless nicknames including soothers, dummies, binkies, soo soos, and buttons. But whatever you call them, youre probably aware that pacifiers can bring joy to your little bundle of joy . As the names suggest, pacifiers help soothe and calm babies.
Sucking is a normal reflex in newborn babies. In fact, it begins even before birth. It helps your baby practice feeding from the breast or a bottle. Sucking without feeding called non-nutritive sucking is also natural for babies.
So pacifiers are popular for good reason. In Western countries, up to
A Pharmacist Can Help With Diarrhoea And Vomiting
Speak to a pharmacist if:
- you or your child have signs of dehydration such as dark, smelly pee or peeing less than usual
- you need to stop diarrhoea for a few hours
They may recommend:
- oral rehydration sachets you mix with water to make a drink
- medicine to stop diarrhoea for a few hours not suitable for children under 12
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Food Allergies And Intolerances
Just like adults, children can also experience tummy upsets as a result of food allergies, intolerances and sensitivities. Foods most likely to trigger an allergic reaction in children are:
If your little one experiences allergies, intolerances or sensitivities to certain foods, they may experience tummy pain, including gas, bloating, indigestion and diarrhoea .
Keep in mind that there is a difference between food intolerances or sensitivities and food allergies. The former wonât trigger an immune response but may still give your little one an upset tummy. On the other hand, allergic reactions may produce other symptoms accompanying a tummy ache. These include sneezing, a runny or blocked nose, red, itchy and watery eyes, wheezing and coughing, a red, itchy rash and exacerbated eczema or asthma symptoms.
Speak to your childâs GP if you have any concerns about food allergies or if your toddler keeps experiencing tummy pain after eating certain foods. If your child shows any serious symptoms of a food allergy, like swelling, trouble breathing or loss of consciousness, call 999 or go to A& E right away!
Urgent Advice: Get Advice From 111 Now If:
- you’re worried about a baby under 12 months
- your child stops breast or bottle feeding while they’re ill
- a child under 5 years has signs of dehydration such as fewer wet nappies
- you or your child still have signs of dehydration after using oral rehydration sachets
- you or your child keep being sick and cannot keep fluid down
- you or your child have bloody diarrhoea or bleeding from the bottom
- you or your child have diarrhoea for more than 7 days or vomiting for more than 2 days
111 will tell you what to do. They can arrange a phone call from a nurse or doctor if you need one.
Go to 111.nhs.uk or .
Get an urgent GP appointment
A GP may be able to help you.
Ask your GP practice for an urgent appointment.
Check with the GP surgery before going in. A GP may speak to you on the phone.
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How Much Tummy Time Babies Need By Age
Newborns may tolerate tummy time for only 1 to 2 minutes at first. As your baby grows, you can increase tummy time.
You can still give them opportunities for tummy time after theyve reached these developmental stages. Tummy time can help them continue to develop muscles needed for:
- sitting for longer periods of time
Its important to make time for tummy time each day. You can try to fit it in after you give your little one a bath or after a diaper change.
You may want to avoid tummy time immediately after eating, though.
For some babies, laying on their tummy when its full may disrupt digestion and this could lead to gas or spit up. Other babies, however, seem to pass gas more easily on their tummies.
The younger baby is when you start tummy time, the better. This lets them get used to it. Even in the hospital, you can place baby on their tummy on your chest, supporting their neck the whole time.
When you get home from the hospital, find quiet moments throughout your day for some tummy time. You can also lie or sit on the floor next to them and make faces or read them a board book.
You can also try these other activities during tummy time:
- Place baby on an inflatable water mat. Its full of textures and colors for them to discover.
- Use an activity gym for baby to play with and explore.
- Hold one toy a few inches from your babys head and let them follow it with their eyes.
- Give your baby a nonbreakable mirror to let them see their reflection .
You Need To Contact A Doctor Or Nurse Today
Please ring your GP surgery or call NHS 111 – dial 111
We recognise that during the current COVID-19 crisis, at peak times, access to a health care professional may be delayed. If symptoms persist for 4 hours or more and you have not been able to speak to either a member of staff from your GP practice or to NHS 111 staff, recheck that your child has not developed any red features.
If your child:
- Is alert and interacts with you
- Develops diarrhoea & vomiting but no red or amber signs
- Experiences pain associated with menstruation in a girl – take simple painkillers and see your GP if it remains problematic
- Addition information is available about infant crying and how to cope click here
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What Can Cause Stomach Pain In A Child
The most common causes of stomach pain in children include:
Additional stomach pain symptoms can vary based on what’s causing your child’s stomach to hurt, but may include cramping, diarrhea, gas, bloating, nausea or vomiting. One of the most important symptoms to note is where your child is feeling pain in their stomach.
“One of the first questions we ask children is where their stomach hurts,” explains Dr. Mehta. “Location of the pain can help physicians determine what is causing the pain, in addition to other characteristics such as severity of pain, when it occurs, what makes it better or worse and accompanying symptoms.”