Abdominal Pain

  • Abdominal pain is common complaint in toddlers and children
  • It can be from various reasons, simple to worrisome
  • Below are some educational tips and advised regarding this common symptoms

Causes of Acute Stomach Pain

  • Eating Too Much
  • Hunger Pains
  • Stomach virus / Food Poisoning
  • Constipation
  • Strep Throat – strep throat infection can causes 10% of new onset stomach pain with fever
  • Bladder Infection
  • Appendicitis (Serious) – suspect appendicitis if pain is low on the right side and walks bent over. Other signs are the child won’t hop and wants to lie still
  • Intussusception (Serious) – sudden attacks of severe pain that switch back and forth with periods of calm. Caused by one segment of bowel telescoping into a lower piece of bowel. Peak age is 6 months to 2 years

Causes of Recurrent Stomach Pains

  • Stress or Worries – the most common cause of frequent stomach pains is stress. Over 10% of children have a “nervous stomach”. These children tend to be sensitive and too serious. Examples of these events are changing schools, moving or family fights. The pain is real
  • Abdominal Migraine – attacks of stomach pain and vomiting with sudden onset and offset. With this tendency to develop migraine in future. It has strong genetic component
  • Functional Abdominal Pains – functional means the stomach pains are due to a sensitive GI tract. The GI tract is free of any disease
  • School Avoidance


  • Lie Down – have your child lie down and rest until feeling better for worried stomach help your children talk about events that trigger the stomach pain. Talk to your child about how to cope with these the next time around
  • Clear Fluids – offer clear fluids only (such as water, flat soft drinks or half-strength Gatorade)
  • Pass a Stool – have your child sit on the toilet and try to pass a stool for diarrhea or constipation
  • Do Not Give Medicines – any drug (like ibuprofen) could upset the stomach and make the pain worse for fever over 102° F (39° C), acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) can be given

What to Expect

  • With harmless causes, the pain is most often better or gone in 2 hours
  • With stomach flu, belly cramps may come and go for a few days
  • With serious causes (such as appendicitis), the pain worsens and becomes constant

Call Your Doctor If:

  • Pain becomes severe
  • Constant pain lasts more than 2 hours
  • Mild pain that comes and goes lasts more than 24 hours
  • You think your child needs to be seen
  • Your child becomes worse
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