Tummy aches or abdominal problems are by far the most common complaints of young parents bringing their children to the doctor. Tummy aches in young children are far more common than you can possibly imagine.
The aches and pains can be mild or they can be life threatening depending on the severity of the problem. Fortunately, for most parents, this problem can be easily rectified with medicines and medical treatment.
Dealing With Abdominal Pain In Children
A stomach infection is one of the most common causes of a tummy ache. This results from a bacterial or a viral infection also called as gastroenteritis. Viral infections tend to go away fast but bacterial infections are more severe and need treatment with antibiotics.
Food Related Stomach pain
Consumption of excess food can lead to indigestion, discomfort and bloating and this too can lead to abdominal pain in children.
Young children at times may ingest poisonous products like drugs, poison or some harmful chemicals, which may cause stomach or abdominal pain.
A ruptured appendix or some other serious digestive problem may also cause abdominal pain in young children. In such cases, it is best to show the child to the doctor.
Symptoms of Abdominal Pain
The symptoms of abdominal pain may vary from child to child. In young babies, it is manifested in the form of uncontrolled crying, curling up and general lethargy. Young children who can speak are quick to tell their parents what is wrong.
Teens may try to hide the ailment in order to look cool. The typical symptoms of abdominal pain are cramps with the child rubbing the stomach. The pain is generally located in the centre of the belly. If the pain is located on the right side or lower down, it may indicate appendicitis.
Acute vomiting and diarrhea may accompany severe abdominal pain. This is generally seen in the case of severe stomach infections or food poisoning. The pain may be prevalent for a day or two until the child starts feeling better.
Treatment To Deal With Abdominal Pain In Children
Treatment of abdominal pain requires active participation by the parent and adequate rest for the child. Monitor the child until he/she starts to feel better.
Make sure the child is lying flat on the bed and resting. Sleeping may help to ease the pain to a large extent.
Diet modification may be needed. This is especially true in cases of severe food poisoning where the child has defecated or thrown up. The child should be given a liquid diet to prevent dehydration from occurring. The child should be given juices, soups and broths until he/she starts to feel better.
Antibiotics may be needed in order to cure the child of stomach flu. If the child has suffered from appendicitis, the doctor may recommend complete bed rest for the surgical incision to heal. The child may suffer from mild stomach discomfort until the stitches heal.
It is also very important for all parents to practice good and safe personal hygiene in their kitchens as well as homes so that the child learns and practices this at home. This will go a long way in preventing episodes of food poisoning and diarrhea.