What is Causing my Child’s Stomach Ache?

January 9th, 2008

The dishes are done and you’re just about to sit down with the evening paper when your little one approaches with eyes as big as saucers. “Mommy, my tummy hurts.” You grab a large bowl and prepare for the possibility of vomiting. As you comfort your child, that perplexing question runs through your mind; “What is causing my child’s stomach ache?”

What Is My Body Feeling?
If a child is old enough to talk, ask descriptive questions to help determine what the sickness feels like; is it a queasy, hungry, or painful, cramping feeling? The questions will help a child become more aware of what their body is feeling.

For infants and small babies, often the only symptom of a stomach ache is persistent crying. Track the symptoms by writing down what the child is doing.  Asking questions and tracking symptoms will provide valuable diagnosing information for the pediatrician.

Causes and Symptoms

There are a variety of conditions and nasty bugs that can cause a child’s stomach ache. Here is a list of likely causes that occur in babies, toddlers and older children.

Colic: This condition occurs in small babies from six weeks to four months.  Symptoms include persistent crying and fussiness, pulling up of legs, red face and clenched fists.

Gas: This condition can occur in any child with most common occurrences in small babies. Symptoms include a painful, cramp-like stomach ache with persistent fussiness.

Gastroenteritis or “stomach flu”: This condition can affect a child of any age.  Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea.  Parents should consult a doctor as this condition can be caused by either a virus or bacterial infection.

Constipation: A child of any age can develop this condition.  Eating incorrectly, not getting enough fluids and exercise can cause a backup in the digestive system. Symptoms include an inability to have a bowel movement with painful cramping below the stomach area.

Always consult a medical professional for accurate diagnosis and medical treatment (See our disclaimer).  For children, having a stomach ache can be a very scary experience.  Your comforting and proper treatment will help them survive a stomach ache.

For more information on children’s health at ChildnParent

By: Debby Hoffer

Entry Filed under: Child Health

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