First Aid: Stomachaches

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First Aid

Stomachaches can be caused by many things, from gas or constipation to stress, overeating, or a contagious stomach bug. Sometimes, complaints about stomach pain may have nothing to do with the stomach itself — pain can come from another part of the body.

Signs and Symptoms

Seek Medical Care

If a Stomachache Is Accompanied by:

  • pain that's frequent, increasing, or severe
  • pain that starts near the belly button, then moves to the lower right side of the abdomen
  • difficulty walking due to pain
  • persistent vomiting, especially if it is greenish-yellow
  • signs of dehydration
  • trouble having a bowel movement (poop)
  • bloody or black bowel movements
  • loss of appetite for more than a day or two

Think Prevention!

Encourage kids to:

  • avoid overeating or eating right before going to sleep
  • never share utensils, cups, straws, etc.
  • get plenty of fluids and fiber-rich foods like fruits and vegetables
  • reduce fatty, greasy foods like fries and burgers
  • wash hands well, especially before eating and after going to the bathroom
  • get lots of sleep and talk about their worries to help deal with stress

Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: April 2014



Related Resources

OrganizationPediatric/Adolescent Gastroesophageal Reflux Association (PAGER) PAGER is a nonprofit organization that provides information and support to parents, patients, and doctors about gastroesophageal reflux (GER).
OrganizationChildren's Digestive Health and Nutrition Foundation (CDHNF) The CDHNF website provides information on gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
OrganizationNorth American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) NASPGHAN works to help children and adolescents with digestive disorders.


Related Articles

Vomiting Most vomiting is caused by gastroenteritis, and usually isn't serious. These home-care tips can help prevent dehydration.
Campylobacter Infections These bacterial infections can cause diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever. Good hand-washing and food safety habits can prevent them.
A to Z Symptoms: Abdominal Pain Abdominal pain is common and, most of the time, doesn't have a serious cause.
Helicobacter pylori H. pylori bacteria can cause digestive illnesses, including gastritis and peptic ulcer disease.
A to Z: Gastroenteritis Gastroenteritis is an infection that causes vomiting and diarrhea.
Constipation Constipation is a very common problem among kids, and it usually occurs because a child's diet doesn't include enough fluids and fiber. In most cases, simple changes can help kids go.
Appendicitis Appendicitis requires immediate medical attention, so it's important to know its symptoms. The earlier it's caught, the easier it will be to treat.
Food Poisoning Sometimes, germs can get into food and cause food poisoning. Find out what to do if your child gets food poisoning - and how to prevent it.




Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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