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Remedies for stomach cramps in children

Updated April 17, 2017

Stomach cramps commonly occur in children. Children are prone to gas, indigestion and food-borne illnesses. Luckily, several remedies can treat cramps, though treatment begins with identifying the cause of the stomach distress. Usually, watching the child for two hours will help you identify the cause, according to The Children's Hospital.

Identifying the Cause of Stomach Cramps

The first step to remedying stomach cramps in children is identifying the cause. A variety of problems causes a child's stomach to cramp. Eating too much is a common reason, or it can be the result of constipation, indigestion or gas. Stomach cramps can also be a symptom of an infection or food poisoning, which often occurs with vomiting and/or diarrhoea. Stress can also cause a child's stomach to cramp.

Stomach Cramp Remedies

Keeping the cause in mind, the following remedies help soothe a cramping stomach. Place a warm cloth on your child's stomach. Allow your child to sip clear fluids while avoiding solid food for a few hours (wait six hours, if vomiting). Then, introduce easily digestible foods like bread and rice into their diet. Avoid giving your child any medications, as they could irritate the stomach. You can give your child acetaminophen, however, if she develops a fever over 38.9 degrees Celsius. If constipation is the culprit, encourage your child to sit on the toilet. This can help a bowel movement, relieving the stomach cramps.

Add ginger to your child's diet as another stomach cramp remedy. It can relieve both nausea and stomach cramping. Encourage your child to chew on fresh ginger. You can also give him or her ginger tea or ginger ale (made with real ginger) to see the benefits of this stomach cramp remedy.

If stress is the cause of your child's cramps, you'll notice symptoms arise around stressful events such as school, a death in the family or a sudden change in your child's life. To be sure, have a physician rule out any disease before assuming that stress is the cause of your child's stomach cramps. To help with these stomach cramps, teach him relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing. When they're feeling worry or stress, encourage your child to inhale, feeling their stomach rise and then exhale, feeling their stomach descend.

Look for These Signs

Sometimes, stomach cramps can be a sign of a more serious condition. If your child acts very sick or if the pain last longer than two hours (longer than one hour, if severe), contact your physician. Also, contact your doctor if your child has a fever over 540 degrees Celsius and if diarrhoea lasts longer than two days. Feel your child's stomach. If it is hard and sensitive to touch, get medical help immediately.

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About the Author

Elizabeth Streeter has been writing professionally since 2000. She specializes in subjects ranging from how to live a happier life to potentially harmful food and drug-related interactions. Streeter has written for "Family Circle," "Woman's Day," "Natural Health" and "Fitness." Streeter holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition science from Auburn University and is currently working towards a Master of Arts in psychology.