Stomach ache is a common pediatric condition. However, putting it medically, it is the abdominal pain which children feel in between lower end of sternum and the groin. Parents most often don’t seek medical care at first for abdominal pain children, but they do if doesn’t subsides with time. This might be due to the fact that children cannot explain their pain at its beginning and usually fail to express the severity in words. For this reason parent education is must in this regard, to avoid any long term consequence.
Toddlers who cannot speak usually draw their legs up towards their belly; a sign of belly pain. Secondly, an increase in fussiness is seen in most kids. Frequent vomiting and continuous crying may also indicate stomach ache, but it can happen in other conditions too. Children, who can speak, will come to you pressing their belly inwards on the affected area. The accuracy of the present pain site cannot be determined just by looking at the child’s position; instead a thorough medical examination is required. Here, I am going to list some most common pain sites in children, mention their first aid as well.
1) Just below the chest in between the lower ribs:
Pain in this areas. could be due to: (a) Gall stones. (b) Early appendicitis. (c) Late pancreatitis (d) Acute diarrhea (e) Acid burn (f) Any nutritive enzyme deficiency. All these pains manifest as colicy except some, which mean it will peak at regular intervals say 5 min. All these acute and in some cases chronic syndromes /disease manifest as epigastic (the region above the navel) discomfort. The first aid management should be making the child bend forward, his face towards the ground, while standing.
2) At or around the navel:
Pain in this areas. could be due to: (a) Gastric ulcers (b) Duodenal ulcers (c) Obstruction at duodenum (d) Common bile duct problems (e) Acid accumulation in stomach. The first aid management for all these symptoms is to give a buffer which will neutralize the acid in the case of ulcers and acid accumulation, while obstruction can be cured by surgical management.
Most common case of flank in children is any urinary obstruction near or in the upper urinary tract such as stone or stricture or any congenital malfunction of kidneys. Home remedies include the following:
When pain occurs ask child to lie quietly or give some water, if the pain persists even after this or after 24 hrs of consistency then seek medical care. Avoid greasy or fattening food on abdominal pain. Avoid giving your child soft drinks, any source of caffeine, citrus food stuff, dairy products and even tomato products.
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