For parents of toddlers, tummy aches can be a frequent occurrence. One minute your child is happy and healthy, and the next, they’re doubled over in pain. It can be difficult to understand why your toddler is having tummy aches and what might be causing them. Here’s a closer look at some of the most common causes of tummy aches. This way, you can spot the warning signs and ensure your toddler feels better as quickly as possible.
Food Intolerance or Allergy
One possible cause of stomach pains in toddlers could be an intolerance or allergy to certain foods. Some food allergies are more severe than others. In some cases, a reaction to even trace amounts of an allergen can trigger serious symptoms such as swollen lips, hives, difficulty breathing, or vomiting. It’s important to watch out for any signs that your toddler may have a food intolerance or allergy since these reactions can quickly become dangerous.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Another possible cause of stomach discomfort in toddlers is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). IBS is a chronic digestive disorder characterized by abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and gas. Symptoms may come on suddenly and then disappear just as quickly. However, IBS flare-ups can last for days. Kids can get this from eating too quickly or certain foods, such as fat and sugar. If you know the triggers, you can eliminate them from your toddler’s diet and reduce the incidence of flare-ups.
Stomach infections can also cause significant pain in toddlers. Common bacterial and viral infections such as salmonella, rotavirus, and E. coli can all cause abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and nausea. Your toddler can get these infections from contaminated food or water or contact with other kids with the same infection. Another source of infections could be touching something that has been contaminated with feces. It’s important to ensure your toddler follows good hygiene practices to reduce the risk of infection and stomach aches.
Another common cause of tummy aches in toddlers is lactose intolerance. This occurs when the body cannot digest milk sugar (lactose). Symptoms can range from mild to severe, including bloating, gas, and stomach cramps. Sometimes, lactose intolerance is transient, meaning it will only last for a short time. However, if your toddler has consistent symptoms, they may need to be tested for lactose intolerance.
Overeating or Eating Too Fast
Sometimes the cause of tummy aches in toddlers isn’t something serious. It might simply be due to overeating or eating too fast! If your toddler tends to suffer from stomach pains after meals, it may be because they are eating too much too quickly, which can lead to indigestion or bloating. It could also cause an imbalance in their gut bacteria, leading to stomach discomfort.
What You Can Do
Knowing the common causes of tummy aches in toddlers can help you better understand when your child is feeling unwell and how to treat it. It’s important to address it right away and do the following if your toddler is exhibiting any of the symptoms associated with these conditions:
Offer plenty of fluids: Fluids such as water, clear broth, or electrolyte solutions are important for rehydration and can help ease the pain. These act as mild laxatives to help flush out any toxins from the system.
Monitor diet: Pay close attention to your toddler’s diet and track what they eat. Eliminating possible food triggers can also help manage or avoid stomach pains. To ensure they eat right while in school, provide healthy meals.
Eliminate stress: Stress can majorly contribute to toddler stomach issues. Try to keep their environment as calm and relaxing as possible, and reassure them when they feel scared or anxious.
Seek medical attention: If the stomach pains persist for more than 24 hours, it’s important to seek pediatric urgent care immediately. Urgent care is especially important if your toddler is experiencing severe pain. You are also sure your kid gets immediate medical attention since pediatric urgent care centers are open round-the-clock to treat pediatric illnesses and injuries.
Stay away from solid foods: Eating solid food when your toddler has stomach pains can worsen. Avoid them until the symptoms subside. Give them small sips of clear liquids, such as water or electrolytes, as these will help rehydrate them. You can also give them an over-the-counter pediatric antacid to help with the pain.
Give a warm bath or heating pad: A warm bath or a heating pad can help soothe their aches and pains. Ensure the water is not too hot, as this might scald your toddler.
Tummy aches in toddlers can often seem like a mystery. By understanding these potential causes, you will better recognize any warning signs that something may be wrong and address any issues accordingly. This way, your child gets relief from their tummy ache as soon as possible!