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Abdominal Pain in Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 5, 2024.

What do I need to know about abdominal pain in children?

Abdominal pain may be felt anywhere between the bottom of your child's rib cage and his or her groin. Acute pain usually lasts less than 3 months. Chronic pain lasts longer than 3 months. Your child's pain may be sharp or dull. The pain may stay in the same place or move around. Your child may have the pain all the time, or it may come and go. Depending on the cause, he or she may also have nausea, vomiting, fever, or diarrhea.

Abdominal Organs

What causes abdominal pain in children?

The cause may not be found. The following are common causes of abdominal pain in children:

How will I know if my baby has abdominal pain?

Your baby may do any of the following when he or she has pain:

How will I know if my young child has abdominal pain?

Your toddler, preschooler, or young child may do any of the following when he or she has pain:

How is the cause of abdominal pain in children diagnosed?

Your child's healthcare provider will ask about your child and check his or her abdomen. He or she will want you or your child to describe where the pain is and when it started. The provider may ask if the pain wakes your child or stops him or her from doing daily activities. Describe anything that seems to make the pain better or worse. Your child may need any of the following:

How is abdominal pain in children treated?

What can I do to help manage my child's abdominal pain?

How can I help my child prevent abdominal pain?

Your child's healthcare provider may give you specific instructions based on your child's age. The following are general guidelines:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my child's doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. 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.

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Further information

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