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What are stomach pain symptoms in children?
When your child tells you her tummy hurts, the most likely culprit is not eating enough, not going to the bathroom, or a combination of those two common childhood challenges. Frequently, a glass of milk will soothe hunger pains, or a trip to the bathroom can solve the problem. (See also: Constipation) However, for kids with frequent or chronic stomach pain, a solution isn’t always that easy.
Stomach pains can be accompanied by symptoms like:
What causes stomach pain in children?
Our gastrointestinal tract is a complicated system of nerves and muscles that pushes the food we eat through the digestive process. But some children's nerves are very sensitive. Even normal intestinal activities upset their nerves, causing pain.
In some cases, stomachache caused by a very specific problem such as ulcers, heartburn or constipation. In other children, the cause may not be so clear.
An infection caused by a virus or bacteria, being under stress or tired may make the intestinal nerves more sensitive and trigger pain. In some cases, the problem may be genetic, which means it’s a condition that "runs in the family," so other family members may have a similar history of the problem.
When should you call the doctor about stomach pains in children?
For mild stomach pains, you can typically wait for your child to get better and use home care remedies.
According to the National Institutes of Health, you should call your doctor if your child has:
You should seek medical help immediately if your child:
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”