Stomach Pain in Kids: When Should You See a Doctor?

Identifying stomach pain in your child can be difficult; after all, even small pains can seem astronomical to a child. But stomach pain in your children should not be overlooked especially if they voice their concerns.


Here's what you should know about stomach pain in your child and when you should take your child to a doctor or urgent care clinic.

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How to identify stomach pain in children


When your child is a little older, they'll likely be able to tell you when they are experiencing considerable stomach pain. However, it can be much more difficult to identify stomach pain in young children who do not have strong verbal skills to express themselves. If you suspect your child is experiencing abdominal pain, look for these signs:


  • Irritability or fussiness

  • Moving into the fetal position or drawing their legs to their belly

  • Not eating or eating very little


Once you determine if your child is having stomach pain, you should ask them to describe it to the best of their ability. Ask them where the pain is located, if it's a sharp stabbing pain, and whether or not it feels like a cramp. This can be valuable information to relay to a doctor and it can help determine if the issue is more serious. Urgent care centers are experienced in diagnosing pediatric issues and providing a number of different services, including DOT physicals.


What's causing the stomach pain in the first place?


Stomach pain could be caused by a variety of factors. Indigestion, constipation, and acid reflux are some of the most common sources for stomach pain after eating a meal. However, your child may have caught the stomach flu or gastroenteritis from their school.


If the pain lasts longer than 24 hours, your child may be suffering from something more serious like a stomach ulcer, a hernia, or even appendicitis.


When should I take my child to the doctor?


If your child's stomach pain doesn't improve within 24 hours, you should always get your child looked at by a medical professional. Urgent care centers are equipped to handle a variety of issues, including pediatric emergency room procedures, DOT physicals, and after hours urgent care.


You should also bring your child into a 24 hour urgent care if their stomach pain gets worse in a short amount of time. If there is testicular pain, this is another cause to visit a doctor right away. Other symptoms that necessitate a doctor's visit include blood in the stool, persistent vomiting or diarrhea, or an unexplained fever. Luckily, more than 85% of urgent care centers are open for seven days per week.


If you're looking to find doctors in your area, search for an urgent care center near you today. Immediate Clinic offers a variety of medical care options, including DOT physicals, fracture care, and pediatrics. Contact us today for more information.