Best Food For Toddler With Upset Stomach
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Ughthe dreaded GI bug! And theres few things in life more miserable than a child with vomiting, diarrhea, or a stomach ache. Its hard to watch our little ones suffer, especially through stomach pain and tummy troubles.
Luckily, there are some foods for toddlers with an upset stomach that an help them recover and get back to their spunky, energetic selves.
This article is not intended to replace medical advice and you should seek medical attention if you are concerned for your childs health. Always contact your health care provider with questions or concerns regarding your childs health. Please read my full medical disclosure here. This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission if a purchase is made using the links from this page.
Treating Symptoms Of Your Child’s Stomachache
- Have the child lie down and rest.
- Don’t give the child fluids for about 2 hours after the last vomiting episode. Then give the child clear fluids such as water or flat soda. Start with just a sip at a time.
- Keep a container nearby in case the child vomits.
- If the child vomits more than once, watch for signs of dehydration, such as decreased urination or dry diapers, dry lips, and crying without tears.
- If you think the child could be constipated, put them on the toilet. Passing a stool may ease the pain.
- Sit the child in warm water to help release a stool if you think the child is constipated.
The Stomach Pain Is In Their Lower Right Side
Its important to find out where the pain is coming from, as pain in certain spots can be a sign of a more serious problem. Dr. Sylvia Owusu-Ansah, associate professor of pediatrics and medical director of UPMC Childrens Hospital of Pittsburgh, tells Romper that if the pain is in the right lower quadrant of the abdomen, especially if its tender to the touch, you should be on the alert. That may signify something such as appendicitis, or in females, ovarian torsion, where the ovary rotates on itself and cuts off the blood supply, she says.
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They Have A Fever & Stomach Pain
Kids get fevers. It happens! A fever is the bodys way of reacting to an infection or pain, and can be relatively harmless. Still, that doesnt mean you should ignore it, especially if it comes along with severe abdominal pain. Owusu-Ansah says, Children with abdominal pain with fever should be checked out for any type of abdominal infection or kidney/urinary infections in the genital area. Upper abdominal pain with fever and cough can be a sign of lower lung lobe pneumonia with referred pain to the stomach. Abdominal pain with fever should be attended to and evaluated by a physician.
If you notice that your child has a fever, stomach pain, increased sleepiness, and blood in their stool, call your doctor Owusu-Ansah says this could be a sign of infection or even low blood pressure or blood loss.
Home Remedies For Upset Stomach:
Water Drinking plenty of water will help to flush your childs digestive system and speed their healing. Filling your belly with water when you have an upset stomach is counter-intuitive, but it works. Keep them drinking water until everything comes out the other end
Fennel seeds Mostly used as a culinary herb, fennel seeds can be chewed up or brewed as tea to calm an upset stomach.
Peppermint tea Strong peppermint tea is a tried and true remedy for what ails the stomach. Hot or cold, sweeten it with a little honey and sip it periodically until symptoms disappear.
Chamomile tea Chamomile does double duty, soothing the stomach and relaxing the body so they can sleep.
Lemon tea Hot lemon tea, made with the juice of half a lemon and sweetened with honey or agave nectar, is one of natures best medicines.
Ginger tea Grate fresh ginger root into hot water, steep for 5 to 10 minutes, strain and drink. Ginger is a powerful anti-nausea remedy. Kids may not like it, so be forewarned. Tell them its exotic Chinese medicine
Licorice root tea Hot tea made from licorice root needs no sweetener and soothes a raw stomach.
Bergamot tea Both bergamot and bee balm make an excellent digestive tonic.
Cardamom Stir a small amount of ground cardamom into tea or warm milk to relieve stomach pain.
Yogurt Plain yogurt helps to restore intestinal flora to healthy levels. It is easy to digest for most, and soy yogurt is a good choice for kids allergic to dairy.
How Much Fluids To Give A Vomiting Child
The biggest mistake that parents make when their kids have diarrhea and vomiting, next to giving the wrong fluids, is being too aggressive and giving their children too much to drink at one time.
If your child is vomiting frequently, limit fluids to a teaspoon at a time, using a syringe, medicine dropper, or actual teaspoon to measure the dose. Gradually increase the amount you give at each time as your child begins to keep it down.
A good starting point is a teaspoon or tablespoon of fluid every five or ten minutes for the first hour or two, increasing to a few tablespoons at a time once the vomiting decreases and your child is keeping the fluids down well.
If your child can’t or won’t drink anything else, a Pedialyte popsicle can be a good alternative to prevent dehydration.
The total amount of fluids you should aim to give depends on how dehydrated your child is.
Repeat Attacks Of Stomach Pain
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. See your local doctor for advice. A referral may be needed to a paediatrician .
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How To Soothe A Childs Stomach Ache
You can try soothing your childs stomach ache with one of these home remedies:
- Make your child lie face down and let them rest until their stomach pain resolves.
- Apply a warm compress or heating pad on their stomach.
- If the stomach ache is caused by spicy food, try giving them vanilla ice cream.
- If the stomach ache is caused by constipation, try giving them yogurt.
- Give them sips of warm water to drink.
- Avoid carbonated, caffeinated, fatty, or sweetened liquids, such as sodas, tea, coffee, milk, and sports drinks.
- If your child asks for a soft drink, choose one without caffeine. Shake the fizz out before serving.
- Initially, put your child on a liquid diet. Offer them clear fluids, such as water, fruit juices mixed with water, ginger ale, or a simple broth.
- As pain starts to go away, you can introduce bland foods to your childs diet, such as plain bread, dry toast, rice, banana, and saltine crackers.
- Encourage them to go to the bathroom for bowel movements.
- Fennel seed and simethicone drops may be available over-the-counter. You can try giving your child these drops in a recommended dose.
- Do not give your child pain medications without asking your childs pediatrician first.
Medicine For Your Childs Vomiting
In the majority of cases, your child wont require medical intervention to stop vomiting. Most instances of throwing up will go away on their own. However, sometimes, if vomiting is severe or goes on for a lengthy stretch, your doctor may prescribe medication.
Zofran is an anti-nausea drug often given to chemotherapy patients and sometimes prescribed for severe vomiting and diarrhea in children. Though its likely to be given to your child in extreme circumstances only, such as in the emergency room or while hospitalized, its possible your pediatrician may prescribe it for at-home use.
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What A Toddler With An Upset Stomach Should Drink
- Electrolyte solutions. Electrolyte drinks are essential when your toddler has a stomach bug. We use Pedialyte in our house, though any electrolyte drink or sports drinks are great. I like that the Pedialyte comes in ready to use packets whenever illness strikes. The packets do not expire as quickly as the bottles.
- Fruit juice. You may wish to avoid citrus fruits if your child has a sore throat or upset stomach as citrus is very acidic. Some watered down juice might help settle their tummy.
- Ice pops. Popsicles are a good way to rehydrate your toddler, plus they feel like a treat. Pedialyte makes freeze pops that have electrolytes as well for extra rehydration.
- Coconut water. Like sports drinks, coconut water is loaded with electrolytes and vitamins.
- Ginger ale. Great for a stomach bug, ginger ale that is made with real ginger can help settle a tummy. If your child does not like the carbonation, stir the bubbles out with a spoon.
- Broth. Sipping on some broth can be soothing to an upset stomach and will help with hydration.
- Plain water. Back to the basics, sometimes plain water is all your childs stomach can handle.
The most important thing is that your child is getting plenty of fluids. If that means extra sugary drinks for a few days, thats OK. You can get back to your normal routine and regular diet once your child is feeling better.
How Can Parents Help
For kids who show signs of mild dehydration, doctors recommend giving oral rehydration solutions such as Pedialyte, Enfalyte, or a store brand. It has the right amount of water, sugar, and salt to help with dehydration. These are available in most grocery stores and drugstores without a prescription. Your doctor will tell you what kind to give, how much, and for how long.
Dont give kids with diarrhea sports drinks, soda, or full-strength juice. They have too much sugar and can make some symptoms worse. Also, dont give water alone.
In some cases, kids with severe diarrhea may need to get IV fluids at the hospital treat dehydration.
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Things Your Child Should Avoid Eating Or Drinking
Children should avoid certain kinds of foods when they have diarrhea, including fried foods, greasy foods, processed or fast foods, pastries, donuts, and sausage.
Avoid giving children apple juice and full-strength fruit juices, as they can loosen stool.
Have your child limit or cut out milk and other dairy products if they are making diarrhea worse or causing gas and bloating.
Your child should avoid fruits and vegetables that can cause gas, such as broccoli, peppers, beans, peas, berries, prunes, chickpeas, green leafy vegetables, and corn.
Your child should also avoid caffeine and carbonated drinks at this time.
When children are ready for regular foods again, try giving them:
Home Treatment For Stomach Pain
So how long does stomach pain normally last? Well, that all depends on the cause. With harmless causes, the pain is usually better or gone in about two hours. Either that or youll see new symptoms, like the vomiting, the diarrhea, usually theyll pass gas if its from gas pains, things like that. What if they have stomach pain from indigestion? Well the first thing they should do is just lie down. Quite often lying down and not focusing so much on the belly pain does make it better. You can give them belly rubs, you can have a warm washcloth or a heating pad on their stomach and that will make them feel better, too.
Avoid giving your child any solid foods and allow only sips of clear fluids if theyre vomiting. If they continue to try and eat normally, the vomiting will continue and their stomach pain will get worse. If your child hasnt gone to the bathroom for a little while, have them go sit on the toilet and see if having a bowel movement will help with their belly pain.
And finally, we usually dont recommend giving any medication for stomach cramps unless you know the cause. Obviously if its because of constipation and this is a chronic problem, give them their constipation medication. But if you dont know what the cause is, dont give your child Tylenol or Motrin to help the stomach pain. Try and figure out with your pediatrician what the cause of the stomach pain is so that you can help them if this happens again.
Does Your Child Need To See A Doctor About Stomach Pain
You should take your child to see your GP if your child:
- complains of severe pain in the tummy or it wakes them from sleep
- has tummy pain that doesnt go away, or that keeps coming and going
- is unwell or has a fever in addition to the pain
- complains that the pain gets worse when they move
- has diarrhoea or vomiting that doesnt go away
- is losing weight or has pain that affects their energy levels.
Take your child to a hospital emergency department straight away if your child has:
- bloody or green vomit
First Off Dont Be Quick To Reduce Your Childs Fever
To begin with, donât rush to the medicine cupboard and be quick to administer childrenâs Tylenol or Motrin to bring your childâs fever down.
If your child is running a fever, DONâT suppress it. Fevers are actually very beneficial in aiding the body to repair and heal itself.
If fevers scare you, donât worry, they scared me at one point too. But now I have a complete understanding and knowledge around fevers I donât fear them anymore and feel a lot more in control and at ease if my child has one.
Check this post out âReasons why a fever is good for your childâs bodyâ to learn more about why you shouldnât be scared of fevers and you SHOULD let them run their course.
Obviously, you must always do what you feel is right and do your own research and gain your own understanding. You can monitor your childâs fever and if absolutely necessary I do prefer dye-free childrenâs Motrin over Tylenol.
With that being said, it is known that ibuprofen can be harder on the stomach, which in this case I would do my best to avoid all OTC medicines where I can or use a homeopathic fever reducer.
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When Should I Take My Child To The Doctor For Stomach Pain
Stomach pain in children is usually nothing to worry about. But, if your child experiences any of the following symptoms, schedule an appointment with your child’s pediatrician to determine the cause of your child’s pain:
- Constipation that is becoming frequent
- Recurrent stomach pain with no clear cause
- Blood in stool
- Unexplained weight loss
- Looks or acts sick
- Pain that is waking your child up from sleep or is starting to affect their daily lives
Stomach Pain In The Lower Right Part Of The Abdomen
Appendicitis is a serious medical emergency that can cause sudden, severe pain in the lower right part of your child’s stomach. If your child complains of stomach pain that moves to the lower right side of the belly, watch for other symptoms of appendicitis including:
You should contact your child’s pediatrician immediately if you suspect your child has appendicitis. Early diagnosis decreases risk of a ruptured appendix or serious complications.
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Is Tums Good For An Upset Stomach Can Kids Have Pepto
The nurse I spoke with at my pediatricians office noted that Tums is really best used, in general, as an antacid for heartburn and indigestion. It can also be used for stomachs that are sour or a little upset
Turns out, though, that there are lots of other options on the market that do come in kids varieties, especially if theres nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea involved.
- Kids Pepto Bismol
- Hylands 4 Kids Tummy Ache Tablets
- Immodium for Kids
Pepto, in particular, has a variety thats intentionally made for children under 2-years-old.
Does Medicine Help The Stomach Flu
Though you may want to give your child a medicine to help with stomach flu symptoms, Dr. Rojas recommends against it. Because the stomach flu is caused by a virus, antibiotics will not help.
“Usually we just need to let the virus run its own course,” says Dr. Rojas. “Trying to take medications can prolong symptoms and make them worse.”
Dr. Rojas says the only exception to the no-medicine rule is the appropriate dose of acetaminophen if your child has a fever.
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I Asked A Doctor If Kids Can Have Tums Heres The Answer
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My 3-year-old sometimes complains that her tummy hurts.
With kids that age, its really hard to tell when theyre in a lot of pain, exaggerating a little discomfort, or making it up entirely for attention or comfort.
Plus, when my stomach hurts, Ill often take Tums or a store brand antacid of some kind. She sees me do this and will often ask if she can have some.
So for a variety of reasons Ive been wondering lately if its OK for kids and toddlers to have Tums or other antacids. They seem harmless to me, and Ill down them like candy when I have a stomachache, but Im not a doctor.
So I called my own pediatrician and talked to the nurse line to ask if kids can take Tums. This was their advice:
Typically, they dont recommend Tums or antacids for kids under 6 years of age. The better approach would be to:
- Try to determine if its just attention or comfort-seeking behavior
- Give a placebo or multi-vitamin
- Keep an eye open for signs that theyre actually sick