My Child Has Stomach Pain - When Should We See A Doctor?
January 15, 2019
January 15, 2019
Our most recent article examined the many forms of stomach pain that you might encounter and outlined when you should seek medical attention – both immediately, and in cases where you have been unable to treat the problematic symptoms on your own.
But what is the best plan of action when your child is dealing with stomach pain? It can already be challenging when you attempt to determine why you are experiencing problems in your abdomen, even when you are feeling them yourself.
But uncovering the cause of pain in this area for your child can become even more complicated because you must rely partially on what you are being told, and in many cases, your son or daughter may not be able to tell you what is causing their discomfort and where it is located.
As with anything that you might find yourself suddenly being faced with at some point when your child is potentially ill, there are a number of possibilities as to why he or she is not feeling well.
Stomach Pain In Babies And Toddlers
First, if you have a baby, you will have to rely upon other ways to determine what is going on since he or she is still too young to talk with you about it. You may notice that your baby is becoming fussy which is often an indication that something is making them uncomfortable. This can be a sign of a stomach ache, and if the fussiness occurs after feeding then this is certainly a possibility.
Any type of change in your baby’s behavior that accompanies the crying can also be an indication that he or she is in pain. For instance, if what you normally do to soothe your baby isn’t helping then you could easily be dealing with a situation that goes beyond the normal reasons why your baby cries.
Clenched fists, a bloated tummy, a red face when crying, and tightened stomach muscles could all be signs that he or she is attempting to pass gas.
Colic could be the problem if your baby is healthy at age five months or younger, cries consistently for at least three hours per day and does so for at least three different days each week. Colic can be loosely defined as a combination of gas and the literal growing pains of his or her digestive system.
However, there are other possibilities for why your baby is crying beyond colic. Acid reflux could be the problem, as could an infection. You can attempt to soothe your baby’s pain by holding or rocking them, using a pacifier, or trying white noise. If your baby is still upset despite your efforts, you can contact or visit a physician.
Stomach Pain in Children
Toddlers are also limited in how descriptive they can be when you ask them why they are crying, or what is involved with their pain. But once your child is older, they can provide you with more details about what stomach issues they are dealing with, and where they are located.
However, that doesn’t eliminate all of your challenges. Because even though your child can describe what is happening, it may not always be apparent whether they are contending with a bug, an infection of the ear or urinary tract, or an injury that occurred during a recreational activity.
The potential for constipation to cause stomach pain also increases once your child progresses beyond infancy, and this will occur if there is difficulty in having bowel movements.
However, there are some ways in which you can attempt to improve this situation. First, it is helpful to make sure that your child is drinking enough water, and is eating some foods that contain fiber. Some medications can contribute to a constipation problem, as can allergies to milk.
When To Visit A Doctor Immediately
If your child is experiencing pain in the right side of the abdomen, this can be a sign of an appendicitis which should be dealt with immediately. That is also the case if there is continual pain that is present in only one part of the abdomen. If your child’s stomach has not improved within 24 hours or is becoming worse, then prompt medical attention is advised.
It is also recommended that you see a doctor if your child has pain or tenderness when their belly is touched, if the abdomen is swollen, or if there is pain or swelling in the groin area. Green vomit can indicate that there is a blockage in the intestine, and any form of vomiting should not be ignored. Diarrhea, blood in the stool, and bleeding from the rectum are all additional reasons for you to take your child to a physician immediately.
When To Visit A Doctor In Non-Emergency Situations
If your child is in pain but has does have any of the more concerning symptoms that were mentioned previously, you should still visit a doctor if he or she is suffering from a headache, sore throat, fever that approaches 101 degrees, or diarrhea that persists for more than several days.
There are some things that you can try in order to see if the pain subsides. this includes having your child rest and giving him or her sips of water or other clear fluids. If your child is able to pass a stool, then that will also you determine if that has improved any of the pain. Of course, you can also schedule an appointment to see a doctor, so that the physician can officially diagnose the issue.
As you attempt to help your child feel better, it is best to avoid giving them anything that might irritate the stomach, including caffeine, dairy or citrus products, carbonated beverages, or fried foods. Finally, do not give your child any aspirin, ibuprofen or any similar medicines without first consulting a physician.
At Rapid Med Urgent Care Center We Can Help
If you have any questions, or pain of any kind in your abdomen, do not hesitate to contact us at Rapid Med Urgent Care Center. At Rapid Med, we offer immediate medical attention for conditions that are not critical or life-threatening and can provide you with advice on what you should do if you are encountering pain in your stomach.
In addition to visiting our offices at either location, you can receive the same great care and consideration by using our On Demand service through your phone, tablet, or computer.
Regardless of how you contact us, we can also assist you, or answer any questions regarding any of these other medical problems:
- Allergies and Rashes
- Bronchitis and Pneumonia
- Evaluation of Acute Abdominal Pain
- Evaluation of Most Chest Pain
- Fevers – Down to 4 Months of Age
- Gastrointestinal Infections w/ Nausea & Vomiting
- Headaches and Migraines
- On-SiteUltrasound Diagnostics
- On-Site X-Rays
- Simple Gynecologic Problems
- Sinus Infections
- Skin Infections and Abscesses
- Sore Throats and Strep
- Urinary Tract Infections