Stomach ache in children is the one of the commonest problems for which parents visit paediatricians. When young children are unable to communicate about pain and its cause, the identification may get tougher. It is less challenging for parents and doctors to evaluate a tummy ache once the kid is able to talk and express. Here is a list of effective tips to help your child.
Stomach ache can range from being trivial to life-threatening, based on the cause. The common causes of stomach ache may be viral or bacterial stomach infections, food allergies, gases, excess food consumption and food poisoning (botulism). Accidental medicine overdose may also cause poisoning. Appendicitis, constipation, diarrhoea, urinary tract infections or other medical reasons can also lead to stomach ache. Sometimes, kids complain of stomach pain just before going to school. This may be anxiety-driven.
Whatever the cause, it is imperative not to ignore stomach ache. However, it may not be possible for you to rush to a paediatrician if your child develops stomach ache at odd hours. It may not even be necessary to visit a doctor every time he has pain because it may subside in about 30 minutes in most of the cases. You can try these five effective cures against stomach pain as a first step to help your baby.
Easy ways to treat stomach ache in toddlers
Stomach ache can be effectively treated using home remedies. The usage and effectiveness of these remedies may, however, vary based on the cause of abdominal pain.
1. Herbal teas:
Herbal teas made with a single or multiple beneficial ingredients may help relieve your toddler’s stomach ache. Ginger, mint, lemon, honey, fennel seeds, chamomile and carom seeds are a few ingredients that can used to make herbal teas.
Types of herbal teas
Ginger is one of the most effective remedies for stomach spasms, motion sickness and nausea. Grate a small amount of ginger. Add a little warm water to the grated ginger and let it stand for a few minutes. Ginger is not recommended for children under 2 years for whom you could apply ginger juice around the naval instead.
Mint helps ease your toddler’s pain. It also helps remove harmful bacteria from the digestive system. Lemon helps soothe stomach pain and combat constipation. Consider making a tea with a slice of lemon and a few mint leaves to help ease the stomach ache.
Honey can be added to warm herbal teas or you may even feed a teaspoon to your toddler for anti-bacterial action (honey should not be heated and should not be given to children below 1 year of age).
2. Probiotics and soothing foods:
Yogurt is a natural probiotic. It neutralises stomach cramps and diarrhoea. The good bacteria in yogurt replaces the microbes lost from the gut and helps reinstate the microflora. You may soak fenugreek seeds, grind them into a paste and mix this into your child’s yogurt to relieve the child from distress. If your toddler doesn’t resent eating, offer him bland, non-spicy soothing foods like rice or khichdi in small quantities. Avoid giving him greasy, spicy foods as these are difficult to digest and may upset your child further.
3. Warm compression:
This is a simple yet helpful home remedy for stomach ache in children. A hot water bottle or a bag may be applied to your child’s abdomen. This will help increase blood flow to the surface of the skin, simultaneously masking the feeling of pain in the stomach.
4. Foot reflexology:
Several nerves in the feet and hands are known to have a calming effect on particular areas of the body. The stomach area corresponds with the central arch of the left foot. Take your child’s left foot in the palm of your right hand, support the ball of his foot with your right hand and apply a steady pressure with your thumb.
5. Asafoetida (Hing):
Mix water with hing powder to make a paste. Then, apply it around your toddler’s belly button and allow him to lie down to rest for a few minutes. Remember, the paste should not touch the naval. This will aid in releasing gas from the body and will relieve your child of any abdominal pain. You may even mix hing powder with olive oil and massage the abdominal region for 10–15 minutes or until the pain subsides.
If any of the symptoms persist and/or aggravate, it is advisable to consult a doctor immediately.
Do you know of any other home remedy that you’ve treated your toddler with during stomach ache? Let us know about it in the comments below.
The author is a nutritionist and Founder of Nutrify