Taking Care of an Ill Loved One

These Kinds of Stomach Aches That Indicate You Should Call the Pediatrician

You can't, and should not, call the pediatrician every time your child complains of the slightest upset stomach. Usually, this just means they ate something with too much fat or too much sugar, or that they're feeling nervous. It's also really important, though, not to just shrug off a more serious stomach ache. If your child experiences a stomach ache that meets any of these descriptions, you should contact a pediatric care service.  

A stomach ache on the lower, right-hand side. 

Most stomach aches caused by intestinal irritation cause pain and cramping that radiates through most of the abdomen. If your child says their pain is focused on the lower, right-hand side of their abdomen, on the other hand, they probably have appendicitis. The appendix is found on the left side, but it causes reflected pain on the right side. If your child is not treated, their appendix could rupture, which is much more serious—even deadly. So, call the pediatrician ASAP for this type of stomach pain.

A stomach ache pain accompanied by back pain.

If your child says something along the lines of "my back and stomach hurt" then you should call the doctor. Pain that radiates through the back is usually caused by a kidney infection or urinary tract infection of some sort. These infections are treatable with antibiotics, but they do need to be treated promptly to keep the infection from spreading.

A stomach ache that comes with a fever.

If your child complains of stomach pain, take their temperature. If they have a fever, then you should call the doctor. A fever usually indicates that there is an infection. This does not necessarily mean the infection is serious, but it's best to let a pediatrician take a look and understand what's going on before symptoms potentially get any worse.

A stomach ache that lasts more than a day.

Fever or no fever, you should also call the pediatrician if your child's stomach ache does not go away within a day. At this point, the doctor will want to look more closely at what's causing the pain. It could be anything from a kidney infection to constipation, and the fact that it has not cleared up on its own after a day means your child may need a doctor's care.

Sometimes, stomach pain is just a minor annoyance. Other times, it does require care. Make sure you know the difference, and when in doubt, call the pediatrician.