8 Common Causes of Stomach Pain in Children - What to Know
Stomach pain in children is common, but it’s vital that you know how to identify what causes them. Most stomach pains don’t usually require a trip to the emergency room, as these can be resolved on its own via home remedies and OTC medications.
When your child complains about stomach pain, however, it can be bothersome to a parent—especially if it’s becoming too frequent or too painful. That’s why it’s essential to be knowledgeable about its potential causes, to give you the assurance that you can handle minor pains, and if not, allow you to know when to approach an emergency clinic for kids.
To help you out, here are eight of the most common causes of stomach pain in children:
Gas is a common problem for kids, which is usually due to having a poor diet. Kids of all ages tend to consume a lot of carbonated drinks—such as soda and energy drinks—and they often use a straw, which can further contribute to gas issues. Other causes of gas include spicy foods, too much caffeine (which is found in chocolates), and beans.
Lactose is a type of sugar that is found in dairy products and milk. A specific enzyme in the body is needed to digest lactose properly, and unfortunately, not everyone has it. People who don’t are called lactose intolerant, in which consumption of milk and other dairy products may cause stomach issues.
Aside from lactose intolerance, there is also something called milk allergy. When a child is allergic to milk, he or she may experience stomach cramps—which can range from mild discomfort to unbearable pain.
Kids may not have any idea what constipation feels like, but if they do complain of stomach pain around the belly button or the left lower side of the abdomen, then ask them when they last pooped or if they’re having problems pooping. OTC medication is usually enough to handle this, as well as an increase in fluid intake.
Too much of anything, especially junk foods and sugary drinks, can cause abdominal pain. Aside from this, kids are known to eat quickly, which causes them to fail to recognize that they’re full. As such, they are prone to go overboard with eating, ending them with a stomach ache after.
Kids get stressed out too, and it can result in feeling pain in their abdomen. Stomach aches that have no apparent cause may be due to stress, especially if the pain is recurrent and due to certain stimuli.
Bacteria can affect the stomach, and often, the first symptom is stomach pain. This is usually then followed by vomiting and/or diarrhea within the next 24 hours. When this happens, it’s crucial to take medicine to have the symptoms abate and reduce the pain quickly. If this continues for a prolonged period, then bring your child to a pediatric urgent care facility immediately.
When a child complains about a constant pain in the low right side of their abdomen in which slight movement becomes even more painful, then it could be due to appendicitis. However, this is more common in older children and unusual in children under age five.
Most causes of stomach pain don’t need you to go running to the emergency room. However, you should also know when to call your doctor when your child experiences stomach pain. For one, if the child shows clear symptoms of appendicitis, then it’s best to call your doctor.
Other things you should watch out for is a severe and constant pain that lasts for more than an hour, fever, vomiting, blood in the stool, and if the child is younger than 12 months.
These are the potential causes of stomach pain in children. So, the next time your child complains about stomach pain, you know best not to panic.
In case your child’s stomach pain is severe, a pediatric urgent care would be the best place to go. Brantford Children’s Clinic here in Ontario can quickly address children’s stomach pain. Contact us today!