Gas pain in children

Gas pain in children

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Kids pass a lot of gas, which is normal. Causes range from being distracted by screen time during meals to drinking too much juice. Learn why your child might be gassy, what to do about it, and when to contact the doctor.

Is it normal for kids to have a lot of gas?

Yes, it's perfectly normal. Unless your child is experiencing more than minor discomfort and complaining a lot, it's generally not a cause for concern (see "When should I call the doctor?" below).

Gas may happen once in a while – for example, when your child is constipated or after overindulging at a party. If your child is often gassy, it's possible that a particular food or eating habit is to blame.

What are the symptoms of gas in kids?

Your child may experience:

  • Frequent burping or flatulence
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Pain or burning in his belly
  • Possibly nausea

What causes gas in children, and what can I do about it?

Gas can be caused by a wide range of factors, including:

  • Moving around during meals
    When kids move around and play while they eat, instead of sitting at the table, they tend to get excited, eat fast, and gulp, all of which can increase air in their intestinal tracts. Moving around while eating also increases the risk of choking.

Solution: Encourage your child to sit at the table with you during meals, chew her food well, and take her time while eating. Reassure her that she'll have time to play after the meal.

  • Having screen time during meals
    If your child eats while engaged in another activity, such as watching a video, she may ignore her body's signals that she's full and overeat, which can cause gas.

Solution: Have your child focus only on eating during meals.

  • Eating too much fiber or fat
    Some children's guts are sensitive to high-fiber foods, like some cereals, or fatty foods, such as French fries.

Solution: Observe which types of foods cause your child to have painful gas and limit or avoid them. You might also discuss his diet with the doctor, who may have other suggestions.

  • Chewing gum
    The artificial sweeteners in sugar-free gum are difficult for some children to digest. They get trapped in the colon and are fermented into intestinal gas. Chewing gum also increases the odds of swallowing excess air.

Solution: Limit or cut out gum chewing.

  • Having a developing digestive system
    Your toddler's body may not yet fully absorb a food – like the sugar in a sweet beverage. That food ends up in her colon, where it's fermented by bacteria. This process can cause gas, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting.

    Solution: As your child grows, her body will be better able to handle a greater variety of foods. In the meantime, try to reintroduce small amounts of gas-producing foods into her diet periodically. Increase the amount slowly, based on her response.

    • Eating certain foods
      Vegetables like beans, broccoli, and cauliflower are all foods that can cause gas.

    Solution: If your child eats these healthy foods, that's a good thing. Just make sure you don't overload him with too many gas-inducing veggies at consecutive meals.

    • Drinking juice
      Juice is high in sugar, which can bring on gas, even diarrhea. Drinking juice can also make a child feel too full to eat nutritious foods. Plus, it bathes the teeth in sugar.

      The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting how much – if any – juice you offer your child based on age:

      • Younger than 12 months: No juice
      • Ages 1 to 3: No more than 4 ounces (1/2 cup) a day
      • Ages 4 to 6: No more than 6 ounces (1/2 to 3/4 cup) a day
      • Age 7 or older: No more than 8 ounces (1 cup) a day

      Solution: Limit or avoid juice. If you give your child juice, only use 100 percent fruit juice.Learn more about the best and worst drinks for kids.

      • Drinking carbonated beverages
        Carbonated drinks, like soda, contain phosphoric acid, which can cause gas. Soda also tends to make children feel full, so they don't drink the milk and water they should or get the nutrients they need. It's also terrible for your child's teeth.

      Solution: Eliminate soda from your child's diet, or at least limit it to special occasions.

      • Not drinking enough water
        Drinking water won't eliminate a gas problem. But upping your child's fluid intake can help relieve constipation, which often coincides with gas and abdominal discomfort. As a general rule, your children should drink approximately one 8-ounce cup of water for each year of life up to a maximum of 8 cups. For example, a 3-year old should drink 3 cups (24 ounces) per day. The exact amount may vary based on your child's weight.

      Solution: Encourage your child to drink from a water bottle throughout the day.

      • Health conditions, especially constipation
        Constipation is a common cause of gas in children. If gas is accompanied by other tummy troubles, such as pain, vomiting, or change in bowel movements, it's possible your child might have another condition, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

      Solution: Learn more about relieving constipation. Talk to the doctor if you're concerned that your child may have an ongoing health problem (see "When should I call the doctor?" below).

      Is it safe to give my child medications to help relieve gas pain?

      Yes, here are some safe options:

      • Over-the-counter anti-gas medicine: Anti-gas medicine containing simethicone doesn't prevent gas but can help the body get rid of gas more quickly. Given in the recommended dose, it's considered safe for children, though there is conflicting data on whether it works. (Breastfeeding moms should consult a doctor before using it themselves.) Don't combine anti-gas medicine with any other stomach medicine or antacid that also contains simethicone. Also, avoid simethicone drops that contain sodium benzoate or benzoic acid.
      • Antacids: Antacids neutralize stomach acid. If your child is at least 6 months old and dealing with heartburn or indigestion, in addition to gas, you can ask the doctor about trying an antacid that doesn't contain aluminum. Antacids with aluminum aren't recommended for children.
      • Gripe water: This is an herbal solution – typically containing fennel, ginger, chamomile, dill, and lemon balm – that is thought to help with gas. Most commercial gripe water also contains sodium bicarbonate, which helps with stomach acid. Like most medications to treat gas, the effectiveness is variable. Depending on the brand, gripe water may also contain sugar. Most brands today have eliminated alcohol from their ingredients, but if you decide to try gripe water, make sure that it doesn't contain alcohol.
      • Probiotics: These are microorganisms (or good bacteria) that may be helpful. However, more studies are needed to determine whether probiotics may be useful for treating gas.

      When should I call the doctor?

      When your child has gas, call the doctor if:

      • Your child is gassy and uncomfortable throughout the day for more than three days in a row.
      • Gas is painful or severe.
      • Being gassy coincides with your child having other symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or fever.
      • You're concerned or have questions about your child's gas pain.

      Learn more

Watch the video: கழநதகள வயறறல பசச. Worms in children. Dr. Dhanasekhar. SS CHILD CARE (July 2022).


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