Children might experience stomach cramps due to various reasons. Diarrhea, constipation, stress, infections, food poisoning, overeating, allergies and appendicitis can trigger pain and cramping.
The stomach cramps can wake children at night time which causes them to miss out on school. Various measures can be taken to alleviate the cramping.
Measures in managing stomach cramps
- Place a heating pad or warm water bottle on the stomach of the child. The heating pads are ideal for older children while a warm water bottle is suitable for infants. The child should lie on his/her belly over the heat. For infants, place the bottle on your knees and carefully put the belly of the infant on top. If a heating pad is used, it must be in the low setting and applied for 15 minutes at a time.
- Massage the stomach of the child. The massage on the stomach is done in a circular motion for 15 minutes several times throughout the day. Take note that the massage can help in relieving the gas and constipation among children.
- Make the necessary changes in the diet of the child if he/she experiences stomach cramps. Avoid any spicy foods and provide clear liquids and bland foods until he/she starts to feel better such as ginger ale, water, ice pops, broth, toast and crackers.
- Comfort the child by holding him/her and spending time with him/her to lessen the stress and keep his/her mind off the cramping. If the child is up for it, allow to watch a favorite movie or play a favorite game as a distraction.
The doctor should be consulted if there is a need to use an over-the-counter pain medication to lessen the pain. Provide the child with the right amount as indicated on the packaging for his/her age and weight.
If the stomach cramps are accompanied by fever, vomiting and appetite loss, a doctor should be consulted. The discomfort that starts close in the belly button and radiates to the lower right side might be an indication of appendicitis.