Tummy ache 

Tummy ache in children is common. Most children do not require treatment and the pain will get better by itself.

  • Common causes of tummy ache include constipation, a water works infection (urinary tract infection) and tummy bugs (gastroenteritis). 
  • Less common causes include appendicitis. Most children with chronic abdominal pain never have a cause found.


What should you do?

  • Offer your child a normal diet and plenty of fluids.
  • Give them pain relief such as paracetamol (calpol) and or ibuprofen.
  • If their pain is not controlled with simple pain relief, if they develop jaundice (yellow skin or eyes), have a swollen tummy, are peeing more or less than usual or have blood in their poo or wee, you should arrange for them to be seen urgently by a medical practitioner. Call your GP surgery or NHS 111.
  • If your child also has runny poos (diarrhoea), try to avoid them getting dehydrated (see diarrhoea and vomiting information sheet).


Download 'Abdominal Pain' advice sheet


Download 'Diarrhoea and Vomiting' advice sheet


How long will my child’s symptoms last?

  • The duration of your child’s symptoms will depend on the cause of their abdominal pain. 
  • If they are constipated, their pain may improve once they have had a poo. 
  • If they have gastroenteritis, it may last a couple of days. 

Feverish Child

When should you worry?

Your child should see a doctor if they...

  • are in severe pain despite simple pain relief.
  • have green or blood stained vomit.
  • become drowsy or unresponsive.
  • are struggling to breath
  • are pale and floppy.


Where should you seek help?

Find urgent care services near you