Stomach ache is very common problem noted in children. It is a disturbing experience for the baby as well as for the parents. In most cases stomach ache is mild and short lived, but at times it can have serious underlying cause.
How to identify Stomach ache in kids?
Children above 5 years of age easily tell about type and location of the stomach ache. But it can be difficult to diagnose tummy ache in infants. Symptoms like excessive crying, irritability, fussiness, refusal to feed, distended abdomen, retching in otherwise healthy infants indicate abdominal pain.
What are common causes of abdominal pain and how to manage?
GAS PAIN OR BLOATING:
Common cause of stomach ache in infants is bloating of abdomen with gas. Newborns tend to swallow air while taking feeds. Gas puts the pressure on intestines and causes pain. Babies abdomen can appear distended and baby can cry excessively which make the bloating worse as they tend to swallow more air while crying. Here are simple solutions to this problem:
Always burp the baby during and after feeding. Hold the baby so that its chin rests on your shoulder and tap the baby’s back few times. Burping will help to expel extra air from abdomen.
Feed the baby in comfortable position with proper latching technique.
If you are using formula feed with bottle, use proper size soft nipple which fits into baby’s mouth and lips and does not allow air to enter.
Increase tummy time for baby when the baby is awake. It will put little pressure on stomach and expel the gas.
Cycling movement of baby’s legs can help to expel gas.
Infrequent passage of stools, passage of hard stools ,making straining faces while defecating allindicate constipation. Baby’s stomach can be firm to feel. Formula feeds are more likely to cause constipation than breast milk. Milk protein intolerance can cause constipation. Introduction of solid foods at 6 months of age is associated with constipation. Many solid foods can cause constipation like banana, apple sauce and cereals.
Try changing the type of formula feed. Give plenty of liquid and fruit juices. Oatmeal Pear ,Peas, Brocolli can help. You can consult your paediatrician .He can prescribe you suppository or laxative.
Babies spit up feed shortly after feeding is called reflux.It is normal because babies has an underdeveloped esophagus. It gets corrected itself by 12 -18 months of age, but excessive reflux can cause abdominal discomfort to the baby. Things you can do to home:
Burp the during and after feeds.
Hold the baby upright after each feed for some time.
Give small frequent feeds.
Colic is a condition where there are repeated bouts of excessive crying in a baby who is otherwise healthy. The definition doctor’s use is – a baby crying for more than three hours a day, for more than three days a week, for at least one week. It is common in the babies between ages of 2 wk to 4 month of age. It occurs mostly in evening time
Following are a list of the solutions to ensure that your baby stops crying. :
Swaddling the baby with warm blanket can help in colic.
Burp THE BABY
A continuous humming noise..(hair dryer) can help.
Offer a pacifier or play soothing music.
Simethicone gas drops can work.
Many people use gripe water and claim it to be effective but studies are not supportive.
Probiotics have shown to be effective in colic.
Try changing formula milk type-if breast feeding ,mother should eliminate gas forming foods like cabbage ,cauliflower and take hypo allergenic diet avoiding eggs,dairy,peanuts .
It is the viral infection of intestines and is associated with diarrhoea and vomiting. It naturally last for 4-5 days. Give your baby lots of fluids, continue breast feeding and consult your doctor. If babies is getting lethagic, not passing urine, sunken eyes, dry lips and tongue.
Children can be allergic to dairy products, peanuts,eggs,wheat(celiac disease).It presents as stomache, vomiting every time when the patient eats that food to which he is allergic. Avoid giving that food and consult your doctor.
If the stomach ache is increasing in intensity, and has become associated with vomiting and constipation.It can be due to intestinal obstruction. Immediately consult your doctor.
URINARY TRACT INFECTION:
If child complains of abdominal pain especially in the lower abdomen along with excessive crying during micturition, redness aroung genitalia, foul smelling urine- it can be urine tract infection .Consult your doctor.