Almost everyone will experience abdominal pain at one time or another. However, it is the children who often suffer stomachache, which is one the most common reasons of hospital emergency cases.
Abdominal pain is pain that is felt in the stomach area. It is oftentimes associated with fever, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and fatigue. The pain sometimes comes and goes. Indeed, it can be quite difficult to diagnose. To determine what is causing the pain, a doctor will need to conduct medical tests to examine your child. Sometimes the stomach pain is not necessarily caused by a serious medical problem so further tests are not needed. However, there are cases that require critical medical attention for they prompt a sign of something serious.
Most children who do not require special medical care, though, usually get better in just hours or days. These are cases wherein no cause is found. In some instances, the cause only becomes obvious with time and these are the ones that require special treatment. If pain and symptoms continue to persist, bring your child to the doctor immediately.
Causes of Abdominal Pain in Children
Abdominal pain can be hard to diagnose. A child may experience such pain for many reasons. Most of these reasons usually stem from different health problems such as:
- Constipation and Irritable Bowel
- Infections (gastro, kidney, bladder, or in other parts of the body)
- Acid Reflux or Heartburn
- Food Poisoning or Stomach Flu
- Food Intolerance or Allergies
- Migraine or Severe Headaches
- Muscle Strain
- Bowel Obstruction or Intussusception (telescoping part of the gut)
- Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) in Women (pain before menstruation begins)
- Poisoning (smoking, spider bites, eating soap, etc.)
Diagnosis of Abdominal Pain in Children
When the cause of the problem is quite obvious, no tests are needed. Medical tests are required for cases that are difficult to diagnose. Should your child undergo such tests, results should be clearly explained to you by your doctor along with the necessary type of treatment needed. Tests required for such cases may include:
- Blood Tests
- Urine Test
- Stool Sample
- Other special tests
- A medical review by a specialist
Home Care for Your Child with Abdominal Pain
There are home care remedies that you can do to help your child ease the pain and discomfort of abdominal pain. These home reliefs include:
- Have your child drink plenty of clear fluids such as water and fruit juices.
- Do not force your child to eat if he is feeling unwell.
- Do not give your child any food that may irritate his stomach such as caffeinated or carbonated beverages, citric foods and foods with high-fat content.
- Avoid solid foods. They won’t help his stomach. Instead, offer mild foods such as crackers, oatmeal, rice, bananas, toast, or soup.
- Put on a warm compress on your child’s stomach. This eases his discomfort.
- Give your child a warm bath. This helps his body relaxes.
- Let your child lie quietly and have plenty of rest. This gradually helps his body recover from the pain.
- Give your child paracetamol if the pain does not go away. Take note of the doses for children. Carefully check the packet for the proper dosage. Do not give your child aspirin.