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When to take your child to the ER for abdominal pain

Learn the signs and symptoms to help you make an informed decision on when it is important to take your child to the emergency room.

June 28, 2023
Young boy surrounded by doughnuts, cake, cupcakes, and cookies.

Most children experience abdominal pain at one time or another. In some circumstances, this pain can be a simple reaction to food and activity or a symptom of stomach flu or food poisoning. In other cases, stomach pain can indicate a larger issue.

It is important for parents to be able to recognize the symptoms that may indicate that a child’s pain is severe enough to require an emergency department visit.

Consider the following guidelines to determine if emergency care is necessary.

If your child has these symptoms, emergency care may be necessary

Seek pediatric ER treatment if the abdominal pain meets the following parameters:

  • The child is inconsolable
  • Pain is severe and unrelenting
  • The abdomen is tender to the touch or pain radiates to your child’s back

Your child may need emergency care if his or her stomach pain is accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Significant or bloody diarrhea
  • The child is difficult to rouse and has no interest in eating or drinking
  • Seizures or fainting
  • Distended abdomen

HealthONE has five pediatric emergency departments in the Denver metro area, so you are certain to find an ER that is close to home and able to diagnose and treat your child’s abdominal pain. Our hospitals strive to beat the national average wait time, so you can get quick access to high-quality emergency medical care.

Published:
June 28, 2023
Location:
Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at PSL, Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at PSL

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