Children often complain of abdominal pain.  The causes for abdominal pain are numerous.  Usually acute abdominal pains are caused by something simple like overeating, gas pains from drinking too much soda pop, or other types of indigestion.  Sometimes abdominal pain signals the start of the stomach virus, and vomiting and diarrhea soon follow.


With harmless causes of abdominal pain, the pain is usually better or gone in 2 hours.  With the stomach virus, the cramps may precede each bout of vomiting or diarrhea.  With serious causes, the pain worsens or becomes constant.




1.      Have your child lie down and rest until he or she feels better.  A warm washcloth or heating pad on the abdomen for 20 minutes may speed recovery.

2.      Let your child to sip clear fluids (ones you can see through).  Avoid giving solid foods.

3.      Avoid giving any medications for stomach cramps unless you have discussed it with your child’s doctor.  Especially avoid laxatives, enemas, and painkillers.


Call your child’s doctor or return to the Emergency Department if:


1.      The pain is severe and lasts more than 1 hour.

2.      The pain seems to be getting worse.

3.      The pain is in the scrotum or testicle.

4.      Your child acts very sick.

5.      You have any other questions or concerns.