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Abdominal Pain in Children


Abdominal pain may be felt between the bottom of your child's rib cage and his or her groin. Pain may be acute or chronic. Acute pain usually lasts less than 3 months. Chronic pain lasts longer than 3 months.

Abdominal Organs


Seek care immediately if:

  • Your child's abdominal pain gets worse.
  • Your child vomits blood, or you see blood in his or her bowel movement.
  • Your child's pain gets worse when he or she moves or walks.
  • Your child has vomiting that does not stop.
  • Your male child's pain moves into his genital area.
  • Your child's abdomen becomes swollen or tender to the touch.
  • Your child has trouble urinating.

Call your child's doctor if:

  • Your child's abdominal pain does not get better after a few hours.
  • Your child has a fever.
  • Your child cannot stop vomiting.
  • You have questions about your child's condition or care.

Care for your child:

  • Take your child's temperature every 4 hours.
  • Have your child rest until he or she feels better.
  • Ask when your child can eat solid foods. You may be told not to feed your child solid foods for 24 hours.
  • Give your child an oral rehydration solution (ORS). ORS is liquid that contains water, salts, and sugar to help prevent dehydration. Ask what kind of ORS to use and how much to give your child.


  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your child's healthcare provider how to give this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not give your child other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to a healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your child's provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
  • Do not give aspirin to children under 18 years of age. Your child could develop Reye syndrome if he takes aspirin. Reye syndrome can cause life-threatening brain and liver damage. Check your child's medicine labels for aspirin, salicylates, or oil of wintergreen.
  • Give your child's medicine as directed. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him or her if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your child's doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.