Abdominal Pain in Children

Your child may complain of a bellyache (abdominal pain) from time to time.

Most of the time, children with mild abdominal pain are not seriously ill; the symptoms go away in a day or two and can be managed at home. However, if your child has severe abdominal pain or has a bellyache along with frequent vomiting, you should contact your child's pediatrician. Abdominal pain that seems to be getting worse or lasting longer than expected also should be discussed with your doctor.

Answering the questions in this health decision guide will help you understand more about what usually causes children to have abdominal pain, and help you know when you should contact your pediatrician for medical care. Please note, this guide is not meant to take the place of a visit to your pediatrician's office.

Children under the age of two can't always communicate what they are feeling, making it harder to figure out what's going on with them.

If your child is under two years of age, call your doctor for advice.

Yes, my child is at least two years old.

No, my child is not two years old yet.

Call your doctor for advice. Your child may be too young to communicate how he is really feeling.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »