“My stomach hurts. If you're a parent, here's a phrase you've heard many times. Stomach ache is common, but how to relieve it?
abdominal pain is indeed common in children and, fortunately, is rarely caused by anything serious. These pains that are felt in the stomach or intestine therefore usually disappear as quickly as they came, with a minimum of care. Nevertheless, sometimes these ailments hide more serious causes, such as appendicitis: this is why it is important to recognize them well in order to seek help, when necessary.
Causes of stomach aches
As we mentioned, there are several possible causes for tummy aches in children. Constipation, diarrhea and gas are, of course, the most common problems. A severe stomach ache can also be caused by appendicitis (infection of the appendix) or an infection of the bladder or urinary tract. If the child eats too much, or eats expired and difficult to digest food, he may also feel the consequences. In addition, some children suffer fromchronic stomach aches, caused by stress or anxiety. This is what is called somatization.
Stomach aches are not always digestive. A child under the age of ten who contracts a viral infection or angina could indeed feel pain in the abdomen. Moreover, when you consult the doctor for a stomach ache, he will usually have the reflex to check the child's throat, since the lymph nodes then develop in the abdomen, causing pain at the same time.
When to call the doctor
Children may complain of stomach ache for several reasons. Most cases can be cured with a little rest and comfort. But if your child shows any of the symptoms listed below, see a doctor.
- Abdominal pain that lasts more than 1 hour.
- Fever over 38°C (100.5°F).
- Vomiting and diarrhea lasting more than 6 hours.
- An inability to keep even small amounts of liquid down.
- Painful urination.
- Pain in a specific area, especially the lower right side of the abdomen.
Call 911 or go to the emergency room if your child:
- Fever over 40°C (104°F)
- Has blood or pus in stool (diarrhea) or vomit; his vomit is greenish.
- Shows signs of swelling or swelling in the abdomen.
- Sound chamberback repeatedly or constantly bends his knees to his chest.
- Feeling more pain or severe pain.
- Is abnormally drowsy, listless, or weak.
Treating a stomach ache
If your child's stomach ache is not serious – which, remember, it often is – you can relieve it at home. Of course, to do it well, it is better to know the cause of this famous stomach ache. Ask your child to tell you more, ask them questions.
As a first step, parents are strongly advised to take the child's temperature.
Make sure everything is under control by checking him for a fever every 4-6 hours.
- If your child has gas, have them lie on their stomach.
- If your child has diarrhea but is still hungry, be sure to offer non-irritating foods. Bananas, white rice or toast, for example. Also, avoid giving him dairy products or fried foods.
- If the stomach ache is caused by constipation, massage, leg movements and, in more severe cases, a laxative may help the child feel better.
- To relieve it, you can also, of course, apply heat (hot water bottle, magic bag).
- Before administering medication yourself, talk to a he alth specialist.
Prevent abdominal pain
Does your child often suffer from mild stomach aches? Maybe this could help him:
- When your child complains of stomach aches, take note of what he ate or drank just before. You will be able to notice if a particular food is responsible for its condition.
- Sweets and snacks are often responsible for digestive problems. Get into the habit of giving him fruits, vegetables and whole grains instead.
- Don't let your child eat too much food at a time.
- Constipation can be prevented by feeding the child high fiber foods. A small jar of prune puree a day works wonders!
- Your child may have difficulty digesting dairy products. Try, for a few weeks, to offer him plant-based milks (almond, soy). Goat's milk is also more easily digested than cow's milk.
- Here is a very simple rule of etiquette and hygiene, but one that is sometimes broken: before eating, wash your hands!
- No meals or snacks right before bed.
Also, if you have good reason to believe that your child's stomach pain is caused by stress or anxiety, talk to him and try to find solutions together. You could, among other things, fall back on techniques ofrelaxation.