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Tummy pain

Tummy pain is very common in children. All children experience abdominal pain at some point.

The pain can represent a serious problem but in about half of all children coming to hospital no issue is found. Doctors call this non-specific abdominal pain. Although the pain can be severe, in almost all cases it gets better by itself and there is nothing serious to worry about.

This type of pain is often caused by a virus, and does not need to be treated with antibiotics.

What does this mean for my child?

Your review by the hospital team has ruled out conditions that need urgent treatment today. Sometimes we see children at the start of their illness when it is too soon to be certain what is going on. Certain conditions may become more obvious over the next 1 or 2 days so we may want to re-review your child. Your doctor will let you know if this is likely to be the case.

What to do once you get home

To help your child’s discomfort and pain, you can give regular paracetamol for 1 or 2 days. If this is not enough then you can also give ibuprofen if your child is allowed to have it. If you are not sure, please check with a nurse or doctor.

Keep your child well hydrated with drinks such as water or squash.

Make sure your child isn’t constipated with a diet high in fibre and fluids. This will help prevent tummy pain in future.

We will give you 48 hours open access to the acute assessment unit (AAU). If you have any concerns after discharge you can bring your child back without having to see your GP or go to A&E first.

What signs should I look out for?

If you are concerned about your child or your child’s condition changes for the worse we recommend you call the acute assessment unit (AAU) for advice and we may ask you to bring them back for review if needed.

If you notice any of the following you should bring your child back for review on AAU:

  • worsening pain, even with pain killers
  • vomiting and not keeping down drinks
  • green vomit
  • blood in vomit or poo
  • not weeing as much or dry nappies
  • change in feeding patterns such as not taking milk
  • feeling listless, tired, not responding, not themselves
  • severe temperatures that do not settle with paracetamol or ibuprofen

You can call AAU on 0114 2717154 to get advice or to let us know you are returning.

If your child becomes pale, cold or breathing changes please call an 999 for an ambulance.

Contact us

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Acute Assessment Unit on 0114 271 7154.

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Disclaimer

Please note this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s. The details in this resource may not necessarily reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If you have specific questions about how this resource relates to your child, please ask your doctor.

Resource number: PSU16

Resource Type: Article

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Western Bank
Sheffield
S10 2TH

United Kingdom

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