Abdominal Pain Symptoms In Children: Its Causes And Treatment

Parents often take their children to pediatrician with a most common complain; pain in abdomen. Abdominal pain in children needs careful evaluation. It is a challenging task for the physician. This is because even if the aches and pain seems to be trivial, sometimes it can prove life threatening event for the child.

On a brighter note, abdominal pain in children usually improves rapidly without causing any complications. Let us know some of the most common causes for abdominal pain in children.

Causes Of Abdominal Pain In Children

  • Virus and bacterial infections in abdomen can cause pain in abdomen.
    While virus infection may soon resolve without causing much problem, bacterial infection may need a course of antibiotics.
  • Indigestion, gases, eating excess of food can temporarily cause pain in abdomen.
  • Many children are allergic to certain foods, especially dairy products. They often complain of pain in abdomen after eating such food.
  • Constipation is another major cause for pain in abdomen among children.
  • Kidney and bladder infection.
  • An injury to the abdomen, or strain to abdominal muscles after lifting something heavy can be a reason for abdominal pain in children.
  • Appendicitis, tuberculosis of abdomen can also give rise to abdominal pain.
  • Many times children may complain of stomach ache without any real pathological cause. For example, if the child does not want to attend the school he may pretend to have stomach ache. However, these reasons are considered last when all other organic conditions are excluded.

Abdominal Pain In Children Symptoms

Symptoms of abdomen pain in children may vary. If the child is able to speak, he may describe the pain. Toddlers and infants may cry persistently or curl up to express the pain.

The main symptom of pain in abdomen has to be evaluated thoroughly by the doctor.

It also depends where the pain is located in the abdomen. Pain at different site of abdomen may indicate the underlying disease to some extent, for example pain in right side of abdomen in lower region may indicate appendicitis as one of the reasons. There are many other reasons too which should be excluded.

  • When the cause is gastroenteritis, diarrhea and vomiting are commonly associated with it.
  • Fever is another important symptom accompanied with pain in abdomen. It is present in most bacterial infection of abdomen. Sometimes viral infection in abdomen can also cause fever.
  • In urinary disease, burning while passing urine is characteristic symptom.
  • Due to pain in abdomen, the child may refuse to eat food.
  • Infants and toddlers who are not able to speak may cry loudly, curl up, and draw the leg up towards the belly. They become extremely irritable. They reduce their food intake.

Treatment For Abdominal Pain In Children

Whenever your child complains of abdominal pain, it is necessary to consult a pediatrician. You may not know what the underlying condition is that may be causing pain. It may be a trivial cause or something more serious. However, when at home follow these tips:

  • Let the child have enough rest at home.
  • They should drink enough water and fluids. Small quantity of fluid frequently. This will ensure electrolyte balance as well as give the child the needed boost of energy.
  • Avoid force feeding.
  • Give them food which can be easily digested. Bland food, rice, banana, rice gruel, tomato soup etc.
  • Avoid giving oily and spicy food.
  • To alleviate the pain till the time your child consults a pediatrician, place hot water bag on the tummy. See that the water inside the bag is warm and not too hot that may cause scalds.

Once the pediatrician examines the child, he may come to a probable diagnosis. However, he may suggest tests to confirm the same. This may include blood, urine and stool test. He may also suggest sonogram of abdomen.

Most of the time abdominal pain in children is treated conservatively unless it needs some surgical intervention.

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