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First Aid: Stomachaches

Stomachaches can be caused by many things, from gas or constipation to stress, overeating, or a contagious stomach bug. Sometimes, complaints about stomach pain may have nothing to do with the stomach itself — pain can come from another part of the body.

Signs and Symptoms

  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • sore throat
  • heartburn
  • fever
  • bloating
  • cramping
  • painful urination

Seek Medical Care

If a Stomachache Is Accompanied by:

  • pain that's frequent, increasing, or severe
  • pain that starts near the belly button, then moves to the lower right side of the abdomen
  • difficulty walking due to pain
  • persistent vomiting, especially if it is greenish-yellow
  • signs of dehydration
  • trouble having a bowel movement (poop)
  • bloody or black bowel movements
  • loss of appetite for more than a day or two

Think Prevention!

Encourage kids to:

  • avoid overeating or eating right before going to sleep
  • never share utensils, cups, straws, etc.
  • get plenty of fluids and fiber-rich foods like fruits and vegetables
  • reduce fatty, greasy foods like fries and burgers
  • wash hands well, especially before eating and after going to the bathroom
  • get lots of sleep and talk about their worries to help deal with stress

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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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