Childhood Tummy Aches: 6 Signs That Your Child’s Abdominal Pain Should Be Treated Urgently
Stomach aches are common childhood maladies that have many causes. While it is possible that your child ate too much cake at their best friend’s birthday party, stomach pain could also mean something more serious. Sadly, it often seems that stomach pain happens on the weekend when a child’s regular doctor is closed.
Since abdominal pain can be caused by anything from stress to life-threatening illnesses such as appendicitis, it is important for you to know how to tell when it has become serious. Be alert for these warning signs that your child’s tummy ache may be something worse so that you can get them to urgent care.
It Lasts Longer Than 24 Hours
As a general rule, a physician should assess any pain that lasts longer than 24 hours. It is because long-lasting pain often indicates an injury or infection that may need medication to heal. Taking your child into urgent care also means that they will not be subjected to discomfort for the entire weekend.
It Is Accompanied By Diarrhea or Vomiting
The classic stomach virus causes a wide range of symptoms, and it is possible that this is all your child is dealing with if they are also vomiting or have diarrhea. While home care such as pushing fluids helps, your child needs to be seen if they haven’t kept any food down for a full day since this indicates the illness is progressing.
If your child is very young, then they have a higher risk for dehydration than older kids and adults. It means that you need to bring your infant or toddler into urgent care if they haven’t been able to keep fluids down for more than a few hours. Be alert for signs of dehydration in young kids such as a decrease in wet diapers.
Your Child Describes Pain In One Specific Area
For the most part, a child who ate too much will complain of general stomach pain, while more serious issues will be localized. For instance, pain in the belly button region or right side of your child’s abdomen could indicate appendicitis. When your child points to a specific area, it is always best to avoid waiting to check it out.
You Suspect an Allergen or Poison
Food allergies and accidental poisonings are common culprits behind a child’s stomach pain. If you suspect that your child ingested a toxic chemical, then get them emergency help immediately. Try to take note of what they might’ve taken into their system to help better the doctors know how to treat them.
In the case of food allergies, it is possible that your child ate something that they are allergic to without your knowledge. Alternatively, they may have an undiagnosed allergy. Either way, finding out what is causing their stomach pain will help you avoid giving it to them again this weekend.
They Just Don’t Look Right
You know your child better than anyone else, and you just have a hunch that something is wrong. Changes in your child’s appearance or behavior such as having a pale face or being listless are always warning signs that should be heeded. When your parental instincts are sounding alarms, don’t wait until Monday.
They Have a Fever
Similar to stomach pain, fevers that last more than a day should be assessed by a physician. It is especially true if your child has abdominal pain since a fever can indicate an infection. As a general rule, any temperature over your child’s normal range requires urgent care treatment.
At International Family Medicine Walk-In & Urgent Care, we know how stressful it is for parents when a child complains of stomach pain. This is why we are open weekends and evening hours, so contact us today to relieve your child’s discomfort.