Abdominal Pain

Disponible En Espanol


Care at Home

  • REST: * Have your child lie down and rest until feeling better.
  • CLEAR FLUIDS: * Offer clear fluids only (such as water, flat soft drinks or half-strength Gatorade). * For mild pain, offer a regular diet.
  • PREPARE FOR VOMITING: * Keep a vomiting pan handy. * Younger children often talk about nausea (a need to vomit) as stomach pain.
  • PASS A STOOL: * Have your child sit on the toilet and try to pass a stool. * This may help if the pain is from constipation or diarrhea. * Note: For constipation, moving a warm wet cotton ball on the anus may help.
  • DO NOT GIVE MEDICINES: * Any drug (like ibuprofen) could upset the stomach and make the pain worse. * Do not give any pain medicines or laxatives for stomach cramps. * For fever over 102° F (39° C), acetaminophen (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 happen before each bout of vomiting or diarrhea. These 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 * Your child becomes worse
  • WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: * Mild stomach pain can be caused by something simple. It could be from gas pains or eating too much. * Sometimes, stomach pain signals the start of a viral infection. This will lead to vomiting or loose stools. * Watching your child for 2 hours will help tell you the cause. * Here is some care advice that should help.
  • EXTRA HELP: WORRIED STOMACH: * Help your child talk about events that trigger the stomach pain. Talk to your child about how to cope with these the next time around. * Help your child worry less about things he or she can't control. * To treat the pain, help your child get very relaxed. Laying down in a quiet place and taking slow deep breaths may help. Then try to relax all the muscles in the body. Think about something pleasant. Listening to CDs that teach how to relax might also help. * Make sure your child gets enough sleep. * Make sure that your child doesn't miss any school because of stomach pains. Stressed children tend to want to stay home when the going gets rough. * Caution: Your child should see his doctor for an exam. Do this before concluding frequent stomach pains are from worrying too much.

Disclaimer

The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.

  • Not a Substitute - The information and materials in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker should not be used as a substitute for the care and knowledge that your physician can provide to you.
  • Supplement - The information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker are meant to supplement the information that you obtain from your physician. If there is a disagreement between the information presented herein and what your physician has told you -- it is more likely that your physician is correct. He or she has the benefit of knowing your child's medical problems.
  • Limitations - You should recognize that the information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker have the following limitations, in comparison to being examined by your own physician:
    • You can have a conversation with your child's doctor.
    • Your child's doctor can perform a physical examination and any necessary tests.
    • Your child could have an underlying medical problem that requires a physician to detect.
    • If your child is taking medications, they could influence how he experiences various symptoms.

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