If your child is reporting abdominal discomfort, you can adopt some of the following measures, as applicable:
- Avoid giving any food or drink to the child at that moment.
- Warm compresses can be tried. Make sure there is a layer of thick cloth or a towel between the hot water bottle/bag and the child’s skin, to prevent any burning.
- Lying on their stomach can help relieve some abdominal discomfort.
If abdominal pain persists for more than an hour or you see any of the concerning signs as mentioned below, please contact his/her pediatrician immediately for further guidance. Please do not use any medications unless advised by a doctor. You can also contact Pediatrician on call or Pediatric gastroenterologist Dr. Nidhi Rawal, at Max Hospitals, Gurgaon, for further guidance and a follow-up appointment for further evaluation.
It is important to undergo a detailed evaluation sooner than later if abdominal pain is not responding to conventional measures. Timely diagnosis and treatment of the cause of chronic abdominal pain can make a significant difference in a child’s quality of life and can also prevent problems such as –
- Need for surgical intervention
- poor growth in the child
- Vitamin D deficiency, etc.
When Should I Take My Child To The ER For Abdominal Pain?
When it comes to stomach pain in children, ‘when to worry’ is a common question asked at clinical consultations.
Parents are urged to take their child to the ER of the nearest hospital if their child -
- Is suffering from persistent vomiting
- Is inconsolable or irritable
- Is dehydrated
- Isn’t passing adequate amount of urine
- Has fever
- Has blood in vomit or stools
- Is not responding to medications
Can The Location Of The Pain Tell Us If Abdominal Pain In Kids Is Serious Or Not?
The location of pain is not very reliable in children as it is harder to localize the source in children as opposed to in adults.
“Parents are advised to seek immediate attention if the child is in discomfort and is not responding to current treatment. Timely intervention can prevent surgical complications.”
What could be the other signs of gastrointestinal problems in kids?
In addition to abdominal pain, a recent decrease in appetite, feeding difficulties, difficulty swallowing foods, vomiting, nighttime symptoms, blood in stool or vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, jaundice, persistent rashes, weight loss or poor growth, can be some of the other signs of gastrointestinal disease in children.