Children frequently experience abdominal pain between the chest and the groin.

In the first months of a baby's life, stomach aches are a well-known and common phenomenon. The pain may last for several hours and may be accompanied by increased crying, discomfort, and changes in position. Most of the time, this does not indicate a serious medical problem, but in some instances, it may indicate a need for medical attention and investigation.

When a child complains of stomach pain, the first step is to determine the exact location of the pain. It is important to realize that there are numerous types of pain, such as general pain that spreads to more than half of the abdomen, pain that is similar to muscle contractions and occurs as a result of swelling and gas, and transient mechanical pain that reaches the joints, or localized pain in one area.

It is very challenging for the parent and the doctor to identify the exact location of the pain since children are often unwilling to cooperate. It is therefore important to monitor the child and pay attention to signs such as pickiness, shrinking legs toward the stomach, and changes in eating habits which indicate discomfort or stomach pain.

Children's stomachaches: what causes them?

It is common for abdominal pain to be caused by viral or bacterial infections, usually as a result of onset of a flu or gastroenteritis (intestinal infection). Infections caused by viruses pass quickly, while infections caused by bacteria require antibiotic treatment and an answer.

The symptoms of food poisoning and allergies to various ingredients include upset stomach, bloating, and gas. The symptoms usually appear within a few hours of consuming the ingredients. Children are prone to putting toxic substances into their mouths indiscriminately, which increases their risk of food poisoning. An overdose of a drug, such as paracetamol, can also lead to poisoning.

Other causes of abdominal pain in children include inflammation of the appendix, obstruction of the intestine, complications of disease, changes in diet, and swallowing air during meals. It is possible that abdominal pain is a sign of a more serious health condition, such as a systemic disease or even a tumor in more serious cases.


There are several possible causes of abdominal pain in children, so comprehensive tests are required to rule out medical issues and determine the cause. In some cases, a rectal examination will be conducted by the pediatrician to detect bleeding during the physical examination.

A blood test for blood count, liver function, urine and culture tests, stool samples to detect bacteria or parasites and imaging tests may be required.

Stomachaches treatment

Most stomach pains are transient and do not require special treatment. As part of a home treatment program, medications may be taken. Pain that persists for more than 24 hours or that tends to worsen should be addressed by a pediatrician. As part of home care, patients are advised to rest, consume more fluids to prevent dehydration, avoid solid foods, and take aspirin or antibiotics if necessary.

It is important to avoid foods that irritate the stomach, such as carbonated drinks, citrus fruits, dairy products, and fried or high-fat foods. It is the parent's responsibility to ensure that the child consumes balanced meals that are rich in dietary fiber. Paracetamol can be given to children suffering from fevers.

Should a pediatrician be consulted in cases of abdominal pain?

Pain that persists for more than 24 hours or is frequent and severe should be evaluated by a physician. Additionally, it is important to seek medical advice if the child complains of vomiting and diarrhea, if the child complains of a sharp and sudden pain, if the child develops stiffness in the stomach or if blood is discovered in the stool. Abdominal pain is accompanied by loss of appetite, weight loss, and a high fever.

When abdominal pain is accompanied by diarrhea, it is often an indication of a viral illness that is expected to last for several days. Symptoms such as prolonged vomiting and diarrhea should be taken seriously and treated as soon as possible.