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10 Common Causes Of Stomach Ache In Children
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  • Editor’s Note: This article is intended for information purposes only. It does not substitute a doctor. It is vital to always consult a medically trained professional for advice that suits your needs best.

    When your child says his or her tummy hurts, you instinctively wonder about what he or she just ate and maybe worry about food safety in your house. But there are various stomach ache causes that you may not suspect.

    “Stomach pain is a common complaint ng maraming mga kids," says Dr. Caroline Anne Castro, a pediatric gastroenterologist, in her past interview with SmartParenting.com.ph.

    She adds, "Most of the causes of stomach pain are benign, meaning mild lang siya. So, usually hindi siya delikado. They’re also self-limiting, meaning short-term lang and they go away on their own.”

    In some cases, though, stomach pain is accompanied with more troubling symptoms that point to something serious. Thus, Dr. Castro points out, “This is why I want to emphasize the importance of watching out for red flags. These red flags will tell you that your child needs urgent medical care." (Read here.)

    Common stomach ache causes

    Experts from the Nemours Children's Health describe pain as "the body's way of telling us that something's going on." So if there's pain in the belly, it "alerts us to something that's happening inside us that we might not know about otherwise."

    A lot of times, that something can be easy to figure out, but other times, it's not. That's because other factors are involved aside from the stomach and intestines. These include the entire area between the chest and pelvic bones, or maybe even beyond, going to as far as the other organs in the body.



    Maybe your child ate a lot of, for instance, too spicy or greasy food, that his or her little tummy could handle.

    Food tolerance

    Maybe the issue is not eating too much, but he or she is just intolerant of certain food, such as dairy. In that case, he or she could have lactose intolerance. It makes difficult digesting lactose, which is a type of sugar found in milk and other dairy foods. 

    Food allergy

    Having a food allergy, on the other hand, is an even serious health issue. It affects not just the digestive system but also the immune system and respiratory system. There are certain types of food that can trigger an asthma attack (read here).

    Trapped air (kabag)

    Your child may have trapped air in his or her tummy, that's why he or she feels gassy, or what we call in the vernacular kinakabag. Dr. Castro affirms this and adds, “Usually with stomach pain, we feel pain when the colon is stretched and this is what happens when a child gets a kabag. It’s because there’s air. ‘Yun 'yung masakit.”


    If your child has been having a hard time pooping, he or she could be constipated and having a stomach ache. Giving him or her more fluids and fiber-rich food may help ease his or her bowel movement.


    The pain in your child's stomach may be an early sign of him or her contracting diarrhea. He or she may soon be making several trips to the bathroom. (Read here about diarrhea home remedies.)

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    Acute gastroenteritis (AGE)

    Just like diarrhea, the culprit for AGE is an infection from bacteria, virus, or parasite. It is defined by the Britannica dictiornary as "an acute infectious syndrome of the stomach lining and the intestine."

     Various types of infection

    Stomach pain is a common symptom of different health conditions caused by an infection. In could be an upper respiratory tract infection, urinary tract infection, ear infection, and the like.


    Your child could be suffering from appendicitis if the pain he or she feels starts by the belly button and moves to the lower right side of the belly. As the pain escalates, other symptoms appear. These include fever, vomiting, and loss of appetite.


    When your child is worried or stressed out, he or she may have the so-called "nervous stomach." This gives him stomach pain that usually goes away if he or she learns to relax.

    To be sure of the stomach ache causes and treatment for your child, heed the health experts advice to consult your child's doctor.

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