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First Aid: Stomachaches

First Aid

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

Get Medical Care if a Stomachache Happens Along With:

  • pain that's frequent, increasing, or severe
  • pain that starts near the belly button, then moves to the lower right side of the belly
  • trouble walking due to pain
  • repeated 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
Reviewed by: Kate M. Cronan, MD
Date reviewed: June 2018