What are the Most Common Causes of Stomach Pain in Toddlers?

Anna T.

Stomach pain in toddlers is often the result of gas, constipation, or some type of virus that may cause vomiting and diarrhea. Toddlers might also experience stomach pain after consuming dairy products if they are lactose intolerant. It is often hard to determine the exact cause of stomach pain in toddlers because a child of that age may be too young to fully explain her symptoms. In most cases, toddler stomach pain is minor and will pass quickly. Parents should take their children to see a doctor if the stomach pain experienced is accompanied by high fever or happens to persist for more than a day or two without abating.

Toddlers may experience stomach pain and discomfort as their body gets used to new foods.
Toddlers may experience stomach pain and discomfort as their body gets used to new foods.

Gas that causes stomach pain in toddlers normally goes away quickly, but it can be very uncomfortable until it disappears. Children who develop gas may have done so because they ate something that didn't agree with them. Fruit juices are common gas culprits in children, and many parents are guilty of giving their kids too much of it. Sorbitol is a type of sugar found in most types of fruit juices that can't be digested and therefore often causes painful gas. Doctors usually advise parents not to give their children more than one serving of any type of fruit juice each day.

If a child is experiencing stomach pain accompanied by a fever, medical attention should be sought.
If a child is experiencing stomach pain accompanied by a fever, medical attention should be sought.

Constipation might also cause stomach pain in toddlers. Young children often have problems with constipation, particularly when they begin trying out lots of different foods for the first time. It can take an immature, undeveloped digestive system a little bit of time to get used to processing new foods, and this is often the reason behind constipation in toddlers. Most of the time, constipation will remedy itself within three to four days. If it does not, parents can give their children suppositories or feed them lots of pears and prunes, both of which tend to help make the bowels move.

Pears are good for making the bowels move.
Pears are good for making the bowels move.

Stomach viruses and lactose intolerance are two other causes of stomach pain in toddlers. It is usually not too hard to pinpoint a stomach virus as the cause of any type of abdominal pain because the pain is typically accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, and possibly fever. Lactose intolerance is normally much harder to diagnose. Parents who notice that their toddlers complain of stomach problems just after eating foods that contain dairy should mention it to their children's pediatricians. Lactose intolerance can be remedied by eliminating dairy from the diet, and many children outgrow it by the time they reach puberty.

A diagram of the stomach and duodenum.
A diagram of the stomach and duodenum.
Prunes can hep with stomach pain from constipation.
Prunes can hep with stomach pain from constipation.
Usually any stomach pain a toddler experiences is minor and will pass quickly.
Usually any stomach pain a toddler experiences is minor and will pass quickly.
Some toddlers may be lactose intolerant, leading to stomach discomfort if they consume dairy products.
Some toddlers may be lactose intolerant, leading to stomach discomfort if they consume dairy products.
A stomach virus and lactose intolerance are two potential causes of stomach pain in toddlers.
A stomach virus and lactose intolerance are two potential causes of stomach pain in toddlers.

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