Should I Bring My Child to the Doctor for Stomach Pain?
Children get tummy aches all the time, and they are not always a cause for concern. However, severe abdominal pain that lasts longer than a few days or pain that is accompanied by other symptoms may indicate something serious.
Any parent who is concerned about the health of their child should schedule a pediatric sick visit at Health Services of North Texas. An experienced pediatrician in Denton or Collin county can review their symptoms and provide comprehensive treatment options.
Below, our healthcare providers discuss some common causes of stomach pain in children and when it is necessary to seek medical help. We also provide tips on keeping your child comfortable until they can see a doctor in Denton, Plano, or Wylie, TX.
What causes stomach pain in children?
There are several reasons children may experience abdominal pain, including:
- Constipation: When stools become hard and dry, they become difficult to pass. This can cause your child to feel bloated and uncomfortable.
- Food intolerance: Kids can be sensitive to certain foods or ingredients. Stomach pain is a sign that the digestive system has trouble breaking down a particular food.
- Stomach viruses: A stomach virus is contagious and can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in addition to abdominal discomfort.
- Stress or anxiety: Emotional stress sometimes manifests itself as physical symptoms, including stomach pain.
What does their stomach pain feel like?
Parents should pay attention to the location, duration, and intensity of their child’s stomach pain. This can help you and your pediatrician narrow down the possible causes. As a parent, you may need to ask specific questions, such as:
- Is the pain dull or sharp?
- Is the stomach pain constant, or does it come and go?
- Does anything make the pain better or worse?
- Where is the pain located?
We understand that younger children have a hard time communicating their symptoms. Our providers in Denton, Plano, and Wylie, TX are experienced in working with children of all ages and can help get to the bottom of their discomfort.
When to seek medical attention for stomach pain
Mild or infrequent stomach pain may not require a pediatric sick visit. However, you should contact Health Services of North Texas if the pain is severe, ongoing, or is accompanied by symptoms such as:
- Fever over 101º F
- Abdominal bloating
- Blood in the stool
- Rapid weight loss
Relieving abdominal pain at home
Our pediatricians may recommend at-home remedies to help ease your child’s stomach pain. These may include:
- Over-the-counter medication: Ibuprofen and acetaminophen can reduce fever and pain. Be sure to follow the dosage instructions on the package.
- Increasing fluid intake: Water, clear broth, or an electrolyte drink can prevent dehydration if your child is vomiting or has diarrhea.
- Eliminating certain foods: If you think your child’s stomach pain may be due to food intolerance, try removing that food from their diet for a few days to see if the pain goes away.
- Warm compress: Applying a warm towel to the area of pain can provide relief.
When in doubt, call a pediatrician
Stomach pain is a common occurrence, but it can be difficult to determine when it is serious enough to require a pediatrician. Any parent with concerns about their child is welcome to request a pediatric sick visit in Denton, Plano, or Wylie, TX. Schedule an appointment with Health Services of North Texas by clicking here.