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Child That Cries Continuously for 30 Minutes

Crying in a child may be related to minor discomfort from teething, a recent immunization, constipation, or a diaper rash. Pain cries can also be related to abdominal cramps or gas from overfeeding. Crying from colic behavior may also sound like a pain cry. Generally, medical care is not needed for these conditions. Home treatment is usually all that is needed to make the child comfortable.

If the pain cries were related to abdominal cramps or gas from a milk intolerance, usually the child would have more symptoms, such as vomiting and abdominal pain. Changing the formula or the breast-feeding mother's diet is the only treatment that is necessary for milk intolerance.

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If your child appears to be in pain, look for other signs of illness, such as crying during feeding, vomiting, or diarrhea. Also check for a fever. For information on how to take a temperature, see the topic Body Temperature.

  • Does your child have other signs of pain?
  • Does your child have colic? You may want to limit visitors and activity during those times when he or she is most fussy.
  • Is something causing your child pain, such as an open pin sticking the skin, a red spot that may be an insect bite, or a strand of hair wrapped around a finger, a toe, or his penis?
  • Does your child have pain in the groin area? Check his groin area and scrotum or her vaginal area for a bulge that may be an inguinal hernia.
  • Does your young boy have scrotal swelling or tenderness (testicular torsion)? Testicular torsion usually causes severe pain.
  • Has your child fallen or been dropped? Undress your child and look for swelling, bruises, or bleeding.

Sometimes there is no clear reason for crying, but the crying is different enough from the child's normal behavior that a visit to a doctor is needed.

Intussusception is an uncommon condition in which the intestine slides into itself like a telescope. This condition requires immediate medical treatment. It can cause extreme, cramping abdominal pain that comes in waves, one right after the other, occasional vomiting, and stools that are bloody or look like red jelly. The child will look and behave as if he or she is extremely ill (irritable or listless) but may be pain-free for several hours between episodes.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last Revised February 16, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 16, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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