Concerned About Abdominal Pain In Your Child? Consider These Possible Factors

If your child begins to act fussy and complains of having a sore stomach, what he or she may more likely be experiencing is pain around the abdomen. In fact, if you ask your child to put his or her hand over the area of discomfort, it's likely that the hand will be placed over the abdomen instead of over the stomach itself. Unless the child is in extreme distress, you don't need to panic just yet. While you may wish to schedule an appointment to see the child's doctor, it's worthwhile for you to first evaluate whether these factors may be to blame.

Food Sensitivities

It's possible that your child can develop abdominal discomfort due to exposure to foods that he or she may be sensitive to. In many cases, you won't actually know about a child's food sensitivities until you begin to see symptoms that include abdominal pain. Try to think about what the child has recently consumed. For example, a child who is lactose intolerant may commonly develop a sore abdominal region upon exposure to lactose, which is found in dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream.


Constipation is another potential cause for abdominal pain and perhaps one that you've experienced yourself a time or two. When a child hasn't moved his or her bowels in a while, abdominal pain can develop as a result of backed-up stools and gas that fill the lower digestive tract. Ask your child when the last time was that he or she went to the bathroom; in younger children, you'll likely know this information already. You can also assess the child's recent diet. In some children, heavy foods such as bread and pasta can contribute to constipation.


Although many people associate anxiety with adults, rather than children, the result is that even younger children can develop anxiety. For some people, anxiety results in abdominal discomfort, so it's important for you to assess whether anxiety may be playing a role in your child's health complaint. You should ideally have a grasp on what things may be making your child anxious. For example, if he or she is about to start school in a few days, some nervousness could lead to a sore abdomen. Similarly, if your child has started to indicate that he or she doesn't want to go to daycare, it could be because of bullying from other children — and this may result in anxiety that causes abdominal pain. If you don't suspect that one of these issues is to blame, see your family's doctor.