15 March 2021 (updated)

Stomach Aches and Anxiety in a Child - What Can I do?

Anxiety is one of the most common causes of stomach aches in children. By knowing what’s leading to your child’s tummy issues, you can help them find the right solution!

As a parent, we’ve all experienced the moment our child awakes at night or before school and says "my tummy hurts". While your child could be tired or stressed, it’s often hard to know what the cause of stomach aches is. But it’s important to have an idea so it can be treated effectively! Be sure to share your own tips to soothe a belly ache with other parents on your favorite family app.

Does My Child Have Anxiety Stomach Aches?

It may surprise many parents to know that anxiety or stress can often cause a belly ache in kids.  In fact, approximately 8-25 percent of children experience ongoing stomach pain that can’t be chalked up to illness or digestion. However, this pain is very real and can be a symptom of life's stresses, which then makes belly aches worse. Whether they’re experiencing issues at home or school, nervous stomach can be the body’s coping mechanism. Long term stomach pain can lead to issues with anxiety and depression. That’s why it’s so important to deal with them head-on.

How Can You Prevent and Treat a Nervous Stomach Ache?

There are a number of things parents can do if their child is experiencing belly aches related to anxiety or stress:

  • Listen – Of all the things, the most important is to listen to your child. If they are complaining of a belly ache and nausea consistently, it’s important to see a professional. This will ensure that you can find the root cause and deal with it effectively.
  • Proper Eating Habits – Most kids love fried foods and sweets, but they’re not going to help their digestive system. Healthy eating habits will ensure your child is getting the nutrients they need so they can take on the day! A healthy body means they won’t have to worry about a belly ache after eating!
  • Breathing Techniques – The concept of just slowing down the moment may be easier said than done, but breathing techniques can really work. By teaching your child to take deep breaths, this will work their diaphragm and may stop a belly ache. It will also help them to gain clarity and decompress.
  • Counseling – If your child is dealing with ongoing anxiety, it may be helpful for them to talk to a counselor. A counselor may be able to get to the bottom of their issues and determine how they can find balance. Be sure to share your own anxiety stomach pain remedy with other parents on your favorite family app.

What Are Some Signs Stomach Pain Is More Serious?

A child with belly ache often points to constipation, overeating, or the flu. However, this issue can sometimes point to a more serious condition. If your child has pain by their belly button that moves to their abdomen, this abdominal pain could be appendicitis. While this needs to be treated immediately, there are other gut issues that may be present. A gastrointestinal disorder, urinary tract infection, or even food poisoning can be the cause of vomiting and stomach aches. If stomach pain is ongoing or severe and accompanied by other physical symptoms, it's important to discuss it with a medical professional.

Experiencing a cramp or stomach ache isn't pleasant for anyone. While they’ll usually pass without incident, it’s important to know belly ache causes so you can effectively treat them. Do you have any tips for dealing with a child's anxiety? Share it with other parents in our comments! A stomach ache is pretty common but there’s no reason it can’t be a little easier to bear!

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