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What to Watch for When a Child Has a Stomachache

By Sandy Schroeder

Most parents recognize typical signs in a child’s stomachache. It might be an intestinal virus, hunger, too much excitement, or a way to sidestep something they really do not want to do, but there are signs that should not be ignored.

Then it’s time to see the doctor, or go to ER to get immediate answers. Harvard Health lists the following signals that require immediate attention.

Serious Signals to Spot

Blood in the stool – A bad stomachache with blood in the stool can signal a serious infection, intestinal problem or inflammatory bowel disease. See your doctor.

Obvious intense pain – When a child is not distracted and clearly in severe pain, either constantly or intermittently, it’s time to see their doctor or go to ER.

There is green vomit – This can be a signal for intestinal blockage, which should be seen promptly by a doctor.

Blood is vomited – There can be blood accumulating from a nosebleed or lost tooth, but blood that is vomited or blood in the stool should be checked with the doctor.

Signs of pneumonia –A bad cough and fever coupled with a stomachache can be pneumonia. If the cough and stomachache are getting worse and the child is breathing quickly go to ER or call your doctor.

Lower right belly pain – This is the area where appendicitis can flare up with a stomachache and nausea. At first, pain may revolve around the belly button and then move to the lower right. Pain in that area needs to be checked immediately.

Fever and sleepiness – Serious infection can indicate blood loss or low blood pressure. See the doctor.

Urinating hurts – If it hurts to go, a stomachache can signal a urinary tract infection. Check it out with your doctor.

Facial swelling, hives, dizziness – Anaphylaxis is an allergic reaction that can cause stomach pain with vomiting. Harvard Health says, “For this one, you should call 911. If your child has a known allergy and you have epinephrine at home, give it while you wait for the ambulance to arrive.”

As always, staying in touch with your child's doctor is the best policy. As you evaluate your child’s stomach pain, call your doctor, following their instructions for diet, rest and immediate responses. Use ER or 911 if needed.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Atlanta, Ga.


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