Children's Abdominal Pain

Dr. Keyvan Hadad, MD, MHSc, FRCPC, Pediatrician, discusses Children's Abdominal Pain

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Dr. Keyvan Hadad, MD, MHSc, FRCPC, Pediatrician, discusses Children's Abdominal Pain
Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Keyvan Hadad, MD, MHSc, FRCPC
Children's Abdominal Pain
Duration: 2 minutes, 30 seconds

So essentially, causes of recurrent abdominal pain include very simple things such as constipation, and constipation is one of those common pediatric symptoms.

It’s one of those times when the parent has to pay attention because that’s one of the first questions that your physician will ask you when they see you in the office a few days later.

Other causes of tummy pain in children include a stomach flu, so that’s the child who’s got vomiting, who’s got diarrhea, who’s got fever, and who clearly appears that the abdominal pain is part of a general picture of an illness.

Other children with abdominal pain also have symptoms of anxiety. So anxiety often is the emotional feeling and the abdominal pain is a physical manifestation of that.

And that very much is, for example, the five-year-old who doesn’t want to go to school in the morning and has tummy pain. So for every many children who have abdominal pain caused by innocent symptoms, there’s always the one child who has significant reason for pain. This is the child who truly requires investigations, major medical therapy.

And I think that it’s very important always for the parent to be aware of those red flags of particular worry. This is often the child who has pain in the middle of the night, so the child who wakes up, wakes up the parents, and tells them that they have severe pain.

The child who is not growing is also always a child who worries you and is often associated with a much more significant cause to their abdominal pain. The child who has changes in stool pattern, such as bloody diarrhea, for example, also is a cause for concern.

Of course, any time the child has pain associated with symptoms such as no longer being able to keep up with their daily activities, who doesn’t enjoy their physical activities anymore – these are the children, the true red flags of abdominal pain in childhood.

If the parent gets a sense that the child’s pain is truly recurrent, it is always a good idea for the parent to keep a diary of abdominal pain over a few days, pay attention to the child’s stool output for a few days, and then, if clearly the symptoms are recurrent, seek medical care through your family physician or your general pediatrician.

Presenter: Dr. Keyvan Hadad, Pediatrician, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Pediatrician

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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