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dealing with abdominal pain

Stomach aches or abdominal pain 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.


what can cause abdominal pain?

when to go to the emergency room

Go to the emergency room immediately if your child shows symptoms of appendicitis, including:

• Significant abdominal pain, especially around the bellybutton or in the lower right part of the abdomen (perhaps coming and going and then becoming consistent and sharp)

• Low-grade fever

• Loss of appetite

• Nausea and vomiting

•Diarrhea (especially small amounts, with mucus)

• Swollen or bloated abdomen, especially in infants

There is no way to prevent appendicitis, but with the right diagnostic tests and antibiotics, most cases are identified and treated without complications.

If appendicitis is not treated, the inflamed appendix can burst 24 to 72 hours after the symptoms begin. If the appendix does burst, the pain may spread across the whole abdomen and the child's fever may be very high, reaching 104°F (40°C).

If your child experiences any of the symptoms above you should go to the emergency room. Click here for our emergency room wait times.

emergency care

If your child is experiencing a medical emergency, call 911, go to the nearest emergency department or call your child’s primary care doctor.


meet the team

Ann Marie Nie

Ann Marie Nie, PhDc, RN, MSN, FNP-BC, APRN, CWOCN

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