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:
- 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.