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Causes of Stomach Pain in Children

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 When your child complains of stomach pain, you certainly need to pay special attention. In general, stomach pain in children occurs due to indiscriminate snacks or eating too much spicy food.

Although generally harmless, abdominal pain can indicate a problem with the child's body. Some causes of abdominal pain in children are even serious conditions that need to be treated immediately.

Causes of Stomach Pain in Children

Symptoms of abdominal pain in children

Stomach pain in children can occur anywhere between the chest and groin. However, most of the pain that does not require special treatment is located in the center of the abdomen.

There are various forms of abdominal pain in children, such as cramping, bloating, twisting sensation, or squeezing.

Meanwhile, if children can't speak yet, they will be fussier, rub their stomachs, curl up in pain, or even refuse to eat.

There are other possible symptoms that accompany a child with abdominal pain, including:

  • Pale and sweaty
  • Lack of energy (lethargic)
  • Nauseous
  • Vomiting repeatedly or vomiting blood
  • Liquid defecation more than 3 times
  • fever
  • Burning sensation when urinating
  • Diarrhea or bloody stools
  • Decreased appetite or not wanting to drink
  • weight loss.
  • Yellow body
  • Feeling a lump in my stomach.

Abdominal pain in children accompanied by vomiting or other symptoms should not be ignored. It never hurts to take them to the doctor to get the right treatment.

Causes of stomach pain in children

There are several causes of abdominal pain in children, ranging from common conditions to conditions that must be treated immediately. Here are some possible causes.

1. Constipation

Constipation is one of the main causes of stomach pain in children. If your child has not had a bowel movement for several days or has difficulty passing a bowel movement so that his stomach hurts, then they may be constipated

2. Diarrhea

Diarrhea is often caused by infection. When children have diarrhea, they will experience abdominal pain and pass watery stools (diarrhea) repeatedly.

Diarrhea is a condition in which a child experiences liquid bowel movements more than three times a day. This condition can also trigger dehydration.

3. Stress

Does your child often have a stomach ache? Be aware of the possibility of them experiencing stress.

Stress can make the abdominal muscles tense up, causing abdominal pain to come and go in children.

Stomach pain due to stress also often afflicts adults.

4. Problems around the stomach

Abdominal pain in children can also be caused by a urinary tract infection. In addition, irritable bowel, colitis, or GERD can also cause a child to have a stomach ache and may require medical assistance.

Not only abdominal pain, indigestion can also be accompanied by other symptoms, such as vomiting, a palpable lump in the stomach, or other symptoms.

Stomach pain and vomiting in children must be treated immediately so that dehydration does not occur.

5. Certain foods

Eating certain foods can cause a child to have an upset stomach.

Some children suffer from stomach pain from eating too much, eating too spicy or oily food, or eating unhygienic food.

6. Food intolerance or allergies

Some children have problems digesting certain foods or have intolerances. For example, a child with lactose intolerance will have difficulty digesting the lactose in milk, causing symptoms such as abdominal pain.

In addition to intolerance, children with certain food allergies can also experience stomach pain. When this condition occurs, one of the body's allergic reactions that can appear is abdominal pain.

7. Appendicitis

Not only abdominal pain below the navel in children, appendicitis is also accompanied by other symptoms, such as fever, vomiting, worsening pain, and loss of appetite. It is important for parents to recognize these symptoms.

8. Poisoning

Chemical poisoning, poisonous plants, drugs, or spoiled food, can cause stomach pain in children. Poisoning can occur from mild to serious which can be life-threatening. Symptoms include repeated vomiting accompanied by a high fever and no appetite.

9. Infections in several parts

Infections in other parts of the body can also cause a child to have an upset stomach.

An afternoon throat, pneumonia, ear infection, or cough can sometimes cause abdominal pain due to repeated pulling of the abdominal muscles.

10. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

Girls who are menstruating can experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS). 

This condition can cause girls to experience abdominal pain and erratic mood swings.

First aid for stomach pain in children

When your child has a stomach ache, here are the first aid steps you can take:

  • Ask the child to lie down in bed comfortably
  • Give water to ease the pain
  • Offer bland foods, such as rice, bananas, or porridge, if your child is hungry
  • Do not force children to eat if they are not feeling well and are reluctant to eat
  • Put a warm compress on the child's stomach to make his stomach more comfortable
  • Give pain relievers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, if the pain is unbearable
  • Immediately take the child to the doctor if the child's stomach pain does not improve.

Children with abdominal pain are often treated with home care. There are several ways to treat abdominal pain in children, including:

Make sure your child gets enough rest: Lying down can help relieve stomach pain in children. Adequate rest can help boost your child's immune system.

To soothe an afternoon stomach, you can also put a warm compress on your child's stomach.

When your child has an upset stomach, especially if he has diarrhea, you have to keep him hydrated. Give water, ginger water, or soup that can relieve stomach pain.

Gently massage the child's tummy to release any trapped gas. You can also massage the child's stomach using warm oil to make it more comfortable. However, you should stop if the child is in pain.

To treat a child's stomach pain, you can give stomach pain medication at the pharmacy that is specially formulated for children or prescribed by a doctor. However, don't forget to always follow the package directions or adjust to a doctor's prescription.

Avoid giving your child spicy or oily food, as well as caffeinated drinks because it can make the pain worse.

Stomach pain in children usually gets better quickly, but can also last more than 24 hours.

You should immediately consult a doctor if the stomach pain is severe, has a high fever, and has diarrhea or vomiting for more than 24 hours.

You should also be alert if your child has an upset stomach showing the following signs:

  1. Complains of severe stomach pain that interferes with his sleep
  2. Stomach pain that doesn't go away or keeps coming and going
  3. Feeling unwell or fever
  4. The pain in his stomach gets worse when he moves
  5. Have diarrhea or vomiting that doesn't get better
  6. Lack of energy or weakness.

Doctors can help children to get the right treatment. Severe abdominal pain that is not treated immediately is feared to endanger the safety of the child.

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