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7 Signs You Need to Worry About Your Child's Stomach Ache
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  • Abdomnial pain or stomach aches are common and usually nothing serious, according to HealthyChildren, the parenting health resource site of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Your child might be experiencing it because she swallowed too much air when crying, she has constipation, or she is hungry. However, there are symptoms that accompany stomach pain that may point to serious problems. Here are seven of them: 

    1. Pain in the lower right side

    The appendix is located at the lower right side of your child's tummy. Pain in this area is a sign of appendicitis, but your child will experience a dull ache around his belly button first. The pain can also worsen if pressure is applied to the area of the appendix and when she coughs, moves, or takes deep breaths. If you suspect this in your child, take her to the emergency room immediately. “Appendicitis is a surgical emergency,” Dr. Jamie Isip-Cumpas, a pediatrician from Parkview Children’s Clinic in Makati, told SmartParenting.com.ph

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    2. Pain when your child urinates
    Urinary tract infections (UTI) are common in children 1 to 5 years old. “UTIs produce discomfort in the abdomen and the bladder area, as well as some pain and burning when urinating,” said HealthyChildren. Take your child to a pediatrician if you suspect she has it. The doctor may run a urine test and prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. 

    3. Your child also has a fever and a bad cough 

    “Pneumonia can sometimes cause a stomach ache,” said Dr. Claire McCarthy, a primary care pediatrician and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, in an article for Harvard Health. Though many viruses can also cause a stomach and a cough at the same time, in the case of pneumonia, the cough will be particularly bad, explained Dr. McCarthy. The stomach ache can also worsen, and your child may have difficulty breathing. If this is the case, seek medical attention. 

    4. Your child is throwing up green vomit or blood
    “Stomach pain and green vomit should never be ignored,” said Dr. McCarthy. Bile, a fluid that’s secreted by the liver, is green in color. When this comes up when your child vomits, it’s a sign that there’s a blockage in the intestines. This is a medical emergency and your child should be taken to the ER immediately. 

    On the other hand, vomiting blood may not always be a sign of a serious problem as a child who has a nosebleed or has been vomiting a lot can also vomit a bit of blood. But, if blood in vomit is accompanied by a stomach ache, it’s best to call a doctor, advised Dr. McCarthy. 

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    5. There's blood in your child's stool
    A small amount of blood in stools is not usually a sign of something serious. Anal fissures, which can happen when passing a large or hard stool, is “the cause in 90% of children with blood in the stools,” according to Seattle Children's Hospital. However, if stomach pain accompanies your child’s bloody stools, call a doctor right away.  

    6. Your child is below 1 year old and exhibiting symptoms such as…
    Legs being pulled up toward the stomach and intense crying accompanied by vomiting are signs of an intestinal obstruction in babies, according to BabyCenter. Pyloric stenosis, when food can't pass through the digestive system, and intussusception, when one part of the bowel slides into the next part, are examples of intestinal obstructions that require immediate medical attention.  

    7. The pain is severe
    You know your child best so trust your instinct. If you see that he cannot be distracted from his stomach ache or is extremely uncomfortable, get him medical attention. “Any severe pain warrants a trip to the doctor, whether it’s unrelenting or it comes and goes,” says Dr. McCarthy.

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