Stomachache and Nausea (Children)

Call 911 if:

  • The child isn't moving.
  • The child is too weak to stand up.

Knowing that a child has a stomachache or nausea can be hard, but pain lessens within two hours in most cases.

Call Doctor If:

The child has a stomachache and any of the following:

  • Pain that happens more often or gets worse
  • Pain that moves from the belly button to the lower right of the abdomen
  • Trouble walking because of pain
  • No appetite for a day or longer
  • Green or yellow vomit or vomit that contains blood or flecks that look like coffee grounds
  • Symptoms of dehydration such as darker urine and fewer wet diapers
  • Black or bloody stool
  • Problems passing stool
  • A rash that looks like bruises on the legs and buttocks
  • Headache and sore throat along with stomach pain
  • Pain when urinating

Treating Symptoms of Your Child's Stomachache

  • Have the child lie down and rest.
  • Don't give the child fluids for about 2 hours after the last vomiting episode. Then give the child clear fluids such as water or flat soda. Start with just a sip at a time.
  • Keep a container nearby in case the child vomits.
  • If the child vomits more than once, watch for signs of dehydration, such as decreased urination or dry diapers, dry lips, and crying without tears.
  • If you think the child could be constipated, put him on the toilet. Passing a stool may ease the pain.
  • Sit the child in warm water to help release a stool if you think the child is constipated.
  • Avoid giving ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), pain medicine, or laxatives.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on January 9, 2018

Sources

SOURCES:

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Abdominal Pain."

The Nemours Foundation: "Stomachaches."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Vomiting and Diarrhea in Children."

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