How to Relieve Stomach Cramping in Kids
Children can experience stomach cramping for a variety of reasons. Constipation, diarrhea, infections, stress, overeating, food poisoning, eating foods they are allergic to and, in severe cases, appendicitis can cause stomach pain and cramping in children. Stomach cramping can wake children at night, cause them to miss school or miss out on playing with friends. As a parent, there a number of actions you can take to help ease stomach cramping in children and get your child back to his normal self. However, always consult with your child's pediatrician in case the pain calls for medical care.
Apply a heating pad or warm water bottle to your child's stomach. Heating pads are best for older children, while warm water bottles work better for babies. Lie your child on her belly on top of the heat; for babies, put the bottle on your knees and gently put the baby's belly on top. Use a heating pad on a low setting. Apply heat for 15 minutes at a time, a few times per day. A parent should always be present when a child is using a heating pad or warm bottle to prevent burns.
Gas Remedies for Children
Massage your child's stomach. Gently massage his stomach in a circular motion for 15 minutes several time per day. A massage can help relieve gas and constipation in children.
Make changes to your child's diet for a day when she is experiencing stomach cramping. Remove spicy foods from her diet and give your child clear liquids and bland foods until she starts to feel better. These foods can include water, ginger ale, broth, ice pops, crackers and toast.
Magnesium Citrate for Constipation in Kids
Consult your child's doctor about taking an over-the-counter pain medication to help alleviate pain. Give your child the appropriate amount of medication as indicated on the bottle for his age and weight.
Comfort your child 3. Hold your child and spend time with her to help reduce stress and keep her mind off stomach cramps. If you child is up for it, watch her favorite movie or play her favorite game to keep her distracted.
To prevent stomach cramping — or bellyaches — in children, be sure children get plenty of sleep, eat fiber-rich foods, wash their hands regularly, avoid eating before bedtime and be sure children do not overeat.
For severe stomach cramping along with vomiting, fever and loss of appetite, consult your child's pediatrician. Pain that starts near the belly button and moves to the lower right side of your child's abdomen may be an indicator of appendicitis.
For persistent belly pain, take your child to the pediatrician for an examination.
Gas Remedies for Children
Magnesium Citrate for Constipation in Kids
How to Ease a Nighttime Cough in Children
What to Do for a 2 Year Old's Sinus Congestion
How to Relieve Chest Congestion With Mucus in Kids
How to Treat Blackheads in Kids
Kids' Vitamins to Boost the Immune System & Fight Colds
How to Get Rid of Mucus in Children
How to Fix Chronic Postnasal Drip in Children
How Do I Relieve a Child's Earache?
- KidsHealth.org: Belly Pain; Yamini Durani, MD; Oct. 2010
- Baby Center: Stomachache
- "Taking Care of Your Child"; Robert H. Pantell; Jun. 2, 2009
- Brodwall A, Glavin K, Lagerløv P. Parents' experience when their child has chronic abdominal pain: a qualitative study in Norway. BMJ Open. 2018;8(5):e021066. Published 2018 May 10. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2017-021066
- Chuong KH, Haw J, Stintzi A, Mack DR, O’Doherty KC. Dietary strategies and food practices of pediatric patients, and their parents, living with inflammatory bowel disease: a qualitative interview study. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being. 2019;14(1):1648945. doi:10.1080/17482631.2019.1648945
- Zhou Q, Verne GN. New insights into visceral hypersensitivity--clinical implications in IBS. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2011;8(6):349-355. doi:10.1038/nrgastro.2011.83
- Saha L. Irritable bowel syndrome: pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment, and evidence-based medicine. World J Gastroenterol. 2014;20(22):6759–6773. doi:10.3748/wjg.v20.i22.6759
- Occhipinti K, Smith JW. Irritable bowel syndrome: a review and update. Clin Colon Rectal Surg. 2012;25(1):46‐52. doi:10.1055/s-0032-1301759
- Paul, S.P., Barnard, P., Bigwood, C. Challenges in management of irritable bowel syndrome in children. Indian Pediatr. 2013;50(12):1137-43. doi:10.1007/s13312-013-0308-5
- Ung EJ, Ringstrom G, Sjövall H, Simrén M. How patients with long-term experience of living with irritable bowel syndrome manage illness in daily life. European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology. 2013;25(12):1478-1483. doi:10.1097/meg.0b013e328365abd3
- Gulewitsch MD, Müller J, Enck P, Weimer K, Schwille-Kiuntke J, Schlarb AA. Frequent abdominal pain in childhood and youth: a systematic review of psychophysiological characteristics. Gastroenterol Res Pract. 2014;2014:524383. doi:10.1155/2014/524383
- Devanarayana NM, Rajindrajith S. Irritable bowel syndrome in children: Current knowledge, challenges and opportunities. World J Gastroenterol. 2018;24(21):2211‐2235. doi:10.3748/wjg.v24.i21.2211
- Framingham State College. Fiber & healthy kids.
- Kortlever TL, Ten Bokkel Huinink S, Offereins M, et al. Low-FODMAP diet Is associated with improved quality of life in IBS patients-a prospective observational study. Nutr Clin Pract. 2019;34(4):623‐630. doi:10.1002/ncp.10233
- Kinsinger SW. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for patients with irritable bowel syndrome: current insights. Psychol Res Behav Manag. 2017;10:231–237. Published 2017 Jul 19. doi:10.2147/PRBM.S120817
- Sagawa T, Okamura S, Kakizaki S, Zhang Y, Morita K, Mori M. Functional gastrointestinal disorders in adolescents and quality of school life. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2013;28(2):285-290. doi:10.1111/j.1440-1746.2012.07257.x
- Schinkel MG, Chambers CT, Hayden JA, Jordan A, Dol J, Higgins KS. A scoping review on the study of siblings in pediatric pain. Canadian Journal of Pain. 2017;1(1):199-215. doi:10.1080/24740527.2017.1399053
- To prevent stomach cramping — or bellyaches — in children, be sure children get plenty of sleep, eat fiber-rich foods, wash their hands regularly, avoid eating before bedtime and be sure children do not overeat.
- For severe stomach cramping along with vomiting, fever and loss of appetite, consult your child's pediatrician. Pain that starts near the belly button and moves to the lower right side of your child's abdomen may be an indicator of appendicitis.
- For persistent belly pain, take your child to the pediatrician for an examination.
Michelle Zehr started writing professionally in 2009. She has written on health, fitness, fashion, interior design, home decorating,sports and finance for several websites. Zehr possesses a Bachelor of Arts in communication from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master of Arts in professional writing from Chatham University and a graduate certificate in health promotion from California University of Pennsylvania.