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Pain in the abdomen of children

  1. The most common causes of abdominal pain in children
  2. Causes of abdominal pain, depending on the child`s age
  3. Diagnostics
  4. Treatment of abdominal pain


Pain in the abdomen of children Most often, children complain of such a malaise as a pain in the abdomen. This happen for any reason at any age. The exact cause of that can be discovered only by an experienced pediatrician.

The abdominal pains are different: short-term and long, sharp and light, local and extensive. In any case, one should not wait until the painful symptoms get harder and unbearable. If unpleasant sensations are caused not by overeating, then you should immediately contact a doctor.

The most common causes of abdominal pain in children


These unpleasant sensations are observed, as a rule, in infants under the age of 4 months. When feeling colics, the kid lifts its legs, screams loud, turns from side to side and strains the abdominal muscles. The cramps can be removed with a warm diaper put on the tummy, or with dill water. Many parents also carry the child in a vertical position. If the pain is particularly severe and the baby can not sleep at night, the pediatrician can prescribe the medicine.


Such a malaise features not only cramps, but also bloating. To eliminate discomfort, an enema or rectal candle (with glycerine or sea-buckthorn) is needed.


In this case, the baby feels a sharp pain in the process of walking or when trying to sit up straight. Stretching of the muscles occurs due to a strong overstrain (for example, after vomiting or coughing). At the same time the child feels well as a whole and has meal with appetite, i.e. it has no other unpleasant symptoms.

Bowel obstruction

It occurs in 5-9 month-aged babies and is accompanied by nausea, vomiting and bloody stool. In this case the doctor`s consultation is required immediately.

Flatulence (bloating) and gas formation

The baby starts being capricious and troubled, its sleep worsens. During feeding, the child is continually distracted, and at the end of feeding it often spits up. Gas formation can indicate the presence of other more unpleasant abnormalities in the baby`s body.


When infected with ascarids, the child experiences heavy and regular pain. In addition, it can feel a headache or bloating. There is a belief that child`s grinding teeth in a dream in means present worms, but this is nothing more than a myth.

Individual intolerance to food

Most often, children suffer from intolerance to milk and its derivatives. Approximately in half an hour after having this kind of product, the child's condition worsens: it begins to experience severe pain and bloating, suffers from diarrhea and vomiting.


This is a contagious and rather serious childish illness, when the child feels severe pain in its right side. Additional symptoms are yellowing eyes and darkening urine. If these symptoms appear, you should immediately call the doctor.

Inflamed testicles

Sometimes small boys suffer from this ailment. As a rule, the child feels pain in the lower abdomen and in the groin area. Such a problem can be caused by a traumatized inguinal zone, hernia or twisted testicles. In any case, the operative help of the pediatrician is required.


This disease, on the contrary, occurs in girls and is provoked by inflamed renal pelvis. Pyelonephritis features acute and intense pain in the lower back, side or stomach. Meanwhile, the child often feels fever, weakness and chills, complains of nausea and sweats great. In this case, an urgent visit to the doctor is required, since with a severe form of pyelonephritis, only surgical intervention can help.


This inflammation of the mucous membranes of the stomach and small intestine features viral, parasitic or bacteriological nature. The child feels a dull pain in the abdomen, complains of diarrhea, nausea and fever. Gastroenteritis also requires an urgent trip to the doctor.


Appendicitis (or inflamed appendix) is an ailment that affects about 15% of children. The disease usually does not activate until two-year age, but most often appendicitis occurs in children aged 8 to 14 years. At the initial stage of the disease, the child feels pain in the right or lower abdomen, refuses to eat, complains of weakness, vomiting and fever. The disease progresses quickly enough, and soon the abdominal pain becomes acute. In the end, the walls of the appendix are destroyed, and its contents enter the abdominal cavity, which carries a life threat. Urgent hospitalization and surgical intervention is necessary.

Causes of abdominal pain depending on the child`s age

If a child has a stomachache for up to a year, this may be due to the following problems.

Babies under 6 months of age

In babies aged one to six months, abdominal pain can cause:

  • colic (air retention in the digestive system);
  • blockage of the stomach;
  • constipation.

As a rule, a child having such ailments cries, sleeps bad and often turns over. Usually the pain is gone as the baby grows up.

Over 6 months old children:

  • gastritis, colitis, gastroenteritis (inflammatory processes of the stomach or intestines);
  • inguinal hernia;
  • respiratory diseases.

Such ailments are caused by infection and lead to pain in the upper abdomen, loss of appetite and vomiting. Treatment should be carried out after consulting the pediatrician only.

Under 7 years old children:

Overeating children

If under 7 years old child has a stomachache, that may be due to the following:

  • constipation;
  • urinary tract infections;
  • pneumonia;
  • sickle-cell anemia;
  • poisoning.

Constipation is not always a cause for concern, but this problem can mean the child has digestive problems. Urinary tract infections causes abdominal pain, fever and cutting during urination. With pneumonia, the baby coughs and complains of chest pain, and anemia features painful back, chest and limbs. Poisoning in children usually occurs after having poor-quality meal. At the first signs of poisoning, you should call the doctor and provide first aid to the child:

  • Ensure that the child drinks a lot of water;
  • Do not give anything to eat;
  • Give sorbents (for example, Filtrum) to remove toxic substances.


  • gastroenteritis;
  • overeating;
  • viral and infectious diseases;
  • abdominal trauma;
  • pneumonia;
  • urinary tract infections;
  • sickle-cell anemia;
  • appendicitis in acute form;
  • pain during menstruation, inflammation of the pelvic organs.


Abdominal pain in children how to diagnose When pain occurs in the abdomen, a pediatrician`s consultation is required. He/she will either determine the diagnosis by himslef/herself and give a referral to the necessary tests, or advise to be examined by the specialists (urologist, etc.). There is a list of tests and procedures whuch doctors can prescribe for a baby suffering from abdominal pain, including:

  • Ultrasound of the abdominal cavity and pelvis (liver, gallbladder, bladder, pancreas, spleen, kidneys, etc.).
  • Colonoscopy - examination of the large intestine using a special device (a colonoscope). It can be carried out virtually.
  • Fibrogastroscopy (FGS) is carried out in that case, if the doctors suspect an ulcer or gastritis, as well as if the child complains of very severe pain in the abdomen, the cause of which is still not revealed. It is quite difficult for small children to swallow a fibroscope, therefore instead of FGS, children are often prescribed an X-ray of the stomach.
  • Irrigoscopy or sigmoidoscopy (when there are intestinal diseases).
  • MRI of the abdominal cavity (most often it is carried out when it is impossible to make an accurate diagnosis).
  • Urinalysis (general) and blood test (general and biochemical).
  • Blood test for hepatitis B and C (rarely prescribed).
  • Analysis of feces for helminths, various intestinal infections and dysbacteriosis.
  • Coprogram.
  • Blood test for cancer markers (in case of suspected oncology).

When there is pain in the abdomen, the child does not need to go through all the above procedures. The decision on the need for the procedure is maden by the pediatrician.

In particular, in most cases, children are prescribed only a biochemical blood test and ultrasound. A more detailed examination is required much less often, since this is a matter of case.

Treatment of abdominal pain

What should I do if my child has a stomachache? In a number of cases (appendicitis, inflammation, infection, kidney disease and other serious disorders), treatment is carried out on a stationary basis. The course and duration of the therapy depend on the concrete diagnosis. We recommend treat everytime in accordance with the physician's prescriptions. Below there is a list of drugs and folk remedies helping with GI disorders in children.


Treatment of abdominal pain
  1. Treating severe diarrhea requires taking saline solution.
  2. Treating elevated temperature requires taking antipyretic drugs.
  3. When poisoning, apply sorbents (for example, Filtrum®).
  4. Treat dysbacteriosis with drugs to normalize the intestinal microflora.
  5. Treat intestinal infections with antibiotics.
  6. Treat digestive disorders with enzyme preparations (Micrazim®).
  7. Treat food allergies with antihistamines.
  8. Treat very severe pain with antispasmodics.


  • Chamomile tea;
  • Wormwood with honey or pumpkin seeds help the childish body get rid of parasites;
  • Decoction from lemon juice with cinnamon;
  • Decoction from rice with fennel seeds;
  • Mint-ginger decoction;
  • Potato juice with honey;
  • Decoction from the bark of oak;
  • Decoction from rose hips.

If the child feels pain in the abdomen, apply any traditional medicine on the doctor`s advice only. The fact is that such treatment is far from universal and has a number of contraindications. In particular, some of them are highly prohibited to be taken together with traditional medicines.


Important: Before using, read the instructions or consult your doctor.


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