While it is true that most cases of abdominal pain in a child may be due to a minor illness like viral illness or trapped wind, complaints of pain in the abdomen in any child should be taken seriously by both parents and doctors.
Abdominal pain in a child can be caused by any one of more than 90 known causes of tummy ache.The focus should not always be to identify exactly what might be causing the pain.
It should rather be to exclude the presence of potentially dangerous causes of abdominal pain in that age group and promptly administer treatment as required. It is only in about 1 out of every 10 child seen with abdominal pain that the exact causes would be identified. This is squarely because children find it difficult to localize pain, and explain themselves as much as an adult would.
Let's take a look at the more common causes of abdominal pain in children, how to assess them, signs to look out for, tests that might be needed and initial treatment options.
Before we list the common causes of stomach ache in children, the following are points to consider:
The following are the most common causes of abdominal pain in the respective age groups shown below.
Abdominal pain in this age group is difficult to be sure of. You may be worried that your son or daughter might be having abdominal pain in this age group if he or she is:
If you suspect that your baby is having abdominal pain, well, do not doubt your instincts. It is better you are being over cautious than miss a real problem. Seek help from an experienced healthcare adviser. A quick examination may be all that is needed to exclude an abdominal pain.
The common causes of abdominal pain in new born babies up to the age of 3 months are:
We all swallow air when talking or crying. Babies are even more prone to do so, when sucking. They such in air with their feeds. They may gulp in a sizable amount of air that creates a column of air in their tinny intestinal tube or lumen. Because the lumen of their bowels are so small compared with older children or adults, the swallowed air causes distension of the intestinal wall, leading to abdominal pain.
Bottle feed infants are more likely to suffer with this than breast feed babies.
Signs of aerophagia or intestinal gas in newborn babies and older children include:
What You Can Do:
A few things in life could be more distressing than for a parent to watch their own child suffering in pain. Does that sound like what is happening to you? Is your daughter or son suffering with abdominal pain? Have you been back and forward to the doctors for help without success? Whatever it is, why not share your story here and perhaps get responses from parents like you who might have gone through similar ordeal? You may be surprised to know how others found help and got their "little Angel" well again. Share the pain here.
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