Normally it happens in monsoon season and stomachache is one of the most common childhood complaints that we observe. Most parents assume that the pain in the stomach must be linked to something their child has eaten. However, this assumption does not always hold true. Stomachaches can be a symptom for a variety of ills.
In babies below the age of three months, a stomachache could signify the dreaded colic. Indigestion can also trigger stomachaches. When the child is around a year old, a stomachache could be an offshoot of a sore throat, cold or flu. This is just the stomach’s way of intimating that it too has been affected by the infection. Constipation could be at the root of a stomachache. The pain could manifest itself as a dull ache or a sharp shooting pain. In the case of intestinal infections, vomiting and diarrhea usually accompany the stomachache. These can also be symptoms of food poisoning. Food poisoning is generally the result of eating food that has not been cooked thoroughly or improperly canned food.
Children with feeding problems often complain of stomachaches when they come to the table at mealtimes. Since stomachaches are easy to fake, parents often do not believe their children and assume that they are pretending in a bid to escape eating a meal. That is why it is important that parents try not to make mealtimes a battlefield. The stomach is an organ that reflects extremes of emotion. A child’s first day at school can make his stomach clench with tension. Excitement can also trigger diarrhea in some children.
Stomachaches are also associated with intestinal allergies, inflammation of the abdominal lymph glands, kidney disturbances, etc. However, these cases are more infrequent.
But the stomachache that parents really worry about is the one that accompanies appendicitis. Typically, appendicitis begins as a pain concentrated around the region of the navel that continues for a few hours. This pain later shift to the lower right side of the abdomen closer to where the appendix is located. The symptoms of appendicitis differ from child to child. Some children may vomit a couple of times; others lose their appetite, become constipated or develop fever. Doctors usually diagnose this condition if they discover a tender area in the right side of the child’s abdomen when they feel every part of the abdomen.
Thus whenever your child complains of tummy ache, it is better to be cautious irrespective of whether it is mild or severe pains, acute or chronic, get it checked by the doctor. It may be nothing at all, but it does no harm to rule out any serious possibilities.
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