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Home Remedies to Treat Stomachache in Children

Home Remedies to Treat Stomachache in Children

Parents are no strangers to stomachache in children. It’s a fairly common complaint that, in most cases, does not need medical attention. There are natural ways to soothe your child’s pain at home. However, even with the presence of natural remedies, remember that you also have to look out for alarming signs which should prompt you to bring your child to the doctor for worsening symptoms.

In this article, we will discuss the most common causes of stomachache in children, the natural remedies, and when you should seek medical help.

What Are the Common Causes of Stomachache in Children?

As mentioned earlier, stomachache in children is often non-life-threatening. These mild conditions may cause the child’s abdominal pain:

  • Anxiety
  • Gastrointestinal problems, like constipation and diarrhea
  • Too much gas in the tummy
  • Food problems, such as intolerance or allergy, and food poisoning
  • Heartburn and indigestion
  • Stomach flu
  • Strep throat
  • Colic; this happens when the baby intensely cries for a prolonged period. This sometimes becomes frustrating for parents because they can not pinpoint the exact reason why their baby is so fussy.

What Should You Consider if Your Child Has a Stomachache?

Although it is quite hard to ascertain what causes stomachache in children, you can consider the following:

In babies, colicky pain comes in waves. This means that they come quickly and disappear just as suddenly. Often, colicky pain is severe when your baby is inconsolable.

Mild conditions often cause generalized pain. Conditions like constipation, indigestion, gas, or stomach flu cause generalized pain. When we say generalized pain, the child cannot point to an exact location of the ache. If you ask them to point where it hurts, they indicate their whole tummy.

Bloating and gas can cause cramp-like pains. You can notice it fairly easily when it is followed by diarrhea. This kind of stomachache in children is often not serious.

Localized pain could stem from a more serious condition. If your child can pinpoint the exact location of their ache, it means that the pain is localized. They could have problems connected to their appendix, ovaries, testicles, or gallbladder. Additionally, they could also have ulcers or hernia, a condition where an organ “pushes” through a muscle wall or opening.

Home Remedies for Stomachache in Children

In treating stomachache in children, you may try the following:

  • Refrain from giving your child foods that are irritating to the stomach. Such foods include coffee, citrus, dairy products, greasy foods, tomato products, and carbonated beverages.
  • Ask your child to lie down quietly and see if the pain will subside.
  • Given them water or clear fluids. They should not take huge gulps; instead, ask them to take small sips.
  • Encourage them to pass stool.
  • Refrain from feeding them solid food for a couple of hours. Afterward, give them small portions of bland foods like rice and crackers.
  • To soothe the pain, apply a warm compress on their tummy. You can also give them a warm bath.
  • For indigestion, you can give milk to your child, unless they have lactose intolerance, a condition where your child cannot properly digest the sugars in the milk.
  • If your child has diarrhea, try the BRAT diet for them. This diet includes banana, rice, apple, and tea. For tea, you can try ginger tea.
  • If constipation causes abdominal pain, give your child fruits and vegetables and lots of water. You can also make them eat cereals with high-fiber content.
  • Do not give them medicines like aspirin, paracetamol, and ibuprofen unless otherwise approved by the doctor.

stomachache in children

Ginger Tea for Stomachache in Children

Should you suspect that acid is causing your child’s abdominal pain, you can try to brew some ginger. Ginger has antioxidants that boost digestion and regulate the acid in the stomach. Additionally, it also fights inflammation.

To prepare ginger tea:

  1. Take some ginger root and peel the skin.
  2. Cut them into smaller pieces.
  3. Add the chunks in boiling water.
  4. Let it boil for 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Strain the ginger.
  6. Serve the tea.

Remind your child that it will be hot. If they do not want to drink it because of the strong taste, you can add some honey.

The Health Benefits of Ginger (Luya)

How Can You Prevent Stomachache in Children?

Aside from the home remedies, you can do the following to prevent future abdominal pain in your child:

  • Supervise your child’s food intake. Remember that overeating is a common cause of stomachache in children.
  • Promote regular bowel movement by encouraging them to eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
  • Guide them to wash their hands properly and frequently, especially before eating.
  • Give them time to exercise.
  • Reduce intake of foods that might give them gas. Additionally, discourage them to chew gum as it makes them swallow air.

When to Seek Medical Help

While most causes of stomachache in children are non-life-threatening, you must still lookout for some red flags.

Seek medical help right away or call your local emergency number (such as 911) if your child had a recent injury to the abdomen or is:

  • Younger than 3 months and has diarrhea or vomiting
  • Receiving cancer treatment
  • Not passing stool, particularly if they are vomiting
  • Is vomiting blood or has blood in the stool (especially if the blood is maroon or a dark, tarry black color)
  • Complaining of sudden, sharp abdominal pain
  • Having a rigid, hard belly
  • Having difficulty breathing

Call your healthcare provider if your child experiences:

  • Abdominal pain that lasts 7 days or longer, even if it comes and goes.
  • Abdominal pain that does not improve in 24 hours. Call if it is getting more frequent and severe, or if your child is nauseous and vomiting with it.
  • A burning sensation during urination.
  • Diarrhea for more than 2 days.
  • Vomiting for more than 12 hours.
  • Fever over 38°C.
  • Poor appetite for more than 2 days.
  • Unexplained weight loss.

Key Takeaways

There could be several reasons why your child experiences abdominal pain. For the most part, the causes will be mild. If this is the case, you can treat stomachache in children using natural home remedies. However, if you suspect a more serious problem, it is best to consult a doctor.

Learn more about Parenting here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Home Remedies to Treat Your Child’s Tummy Troubles
https://www.torrancememorial.org/News_Center/2013/January/Home_Remedies_To_Treat_Your_Childs_Tummy_Trouble.aspx
Accessed June 17, 2020

Abdominal pain – children under age 12
https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007504.htm
Accessed June 17, 2020

Abdominal pain in children
https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/abdominal-pain-in-children
Accessed June 17, 2020

KidsHealth / for Kids / Stomachaches
https://kidshealth.org/en/kids/abdominal-pain.html
Accessed June 17, 2020

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Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated May 27
Medically reviewed by John Paul Ferolino Abrina, M.D.
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