28 answers

9 Year Old with Stomach Ache

My 9 year old daughter has been complaining about a stomache ache for the past 3 or 4 days. She has not run a fever at all but has been very tired. The area she is showing me is right around her belly button. She says it hurts inside but not like a muscle strain. She also says it hurts almost all the time. I am getting very concerned and plan on taking her to the doctor on Monday. Just thought i would see if I could get any thoughts on this.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you everyone for all of the responses. We ended up in the emergency room last night because she was doubled over and crying in pain. They ran all kinds of tests and did a CT scan. She was clear on all of that. They said it is a stomach virus and she was a little dehydrated from lack of eating or drinking anything. They pumped her full of fluids and she seems to be feeling a little better today although she still doesn't want to eat or drink much. Again, thanks for all of your help.

More Answers

Hi M.,

First off I am sorry to hear your daughter isn't feeling well. At this point if your daughter is still in pain, I wouldn't wait to take her to the doctor. Abdominal pain can be a sign of signifigant problems. I know it may seem like it's over kill to take her to the ER especially since she is nornal other than the abdominal pain. Symptoms are there to tell you something is wrong. She has been in pain for several days without improvement. I would take her to the ER. It's better to be safe than sorry. Things that come to mind are abdoninal hernia or early signs of apendisitis. Apedisitis symptoms as far the pain goes, doesn't always develop on the right side. Some people complained of pain near the belly botton or on the left side. That would be worse case senario. It could be something as simple as a muscle tear or mild case of stomch flu. I know it's a pain to go to the ER sometimes but if it were my child I would go just to be safe. I hope everything works out and she feels better soon.

A. H.

2 moms found this helpful

There is a stomache virus going around. My oldest has it now too and she has bad stomache aches and they seem to get worse when she eats or drinks. The Dr's office said that it can last 1- 2 weeks and lasts the longer time if the child also has diareah which my daughter also has. She doesnt' have a temp either. They said to make sure she drinks enough so she urinates at least every 8 hours otherwise she could become dehydrated they said not to worry about not eating so much. They said to try tums, mylanta etc to see if that helps with settling the stomache. Not much you can do but these things it's a virus and just needs time to pass. I didn't take my daughter in I just called for info to see what else we should do and we had it all covered. My daughter is also sleeping alot more as well.


1 mom found this helpful

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE go to a doctor as soon as possible!

I hate to alarm you, but this sounds to me like it could be an appendicitis. Read this from Web MD: http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/appendicitis-topic-ove...

Here's another link regarding Abdominal Pain, Age 11 and Younger: http://children.webmd.com/tc/abdominal-pain-age-11-and-yo...

1 mom found this helpful

Please ask her when the last time she had a BM, was it soft, hard, watery, large/small amount. To me it sounds like she may be stopped up a bit. she can rub her stomach in a circle going from right to left as that is how the colon flows. Make sure she is drinking lots of water.

Hope it helps.

1 mom found this helpful

Glad you went to the ER. It never hurts and, even if there's nothing serious wrong in the end, it does wonders with helping YOU sleep and be better rested to stay focused. My son had an epigastric hernia when he was 8 or 9 and he had (what appears to be) the exact same symptoms your daughter describes. It took several visits to the Dr. before it was diagnosed. He had a VERY minor surgery to repair it and immediately felt better. However, I also will tell you that they believe he may be developing another one. Please continue to monitor her and ASK HER QUESTIONS about how that spot feels.

As an aside, my 14 year old daughter also has similar symptoms when she gets strep. She no longer has tonsils/adenoids, and strep ALWAYS presents as a stomach ache (rarely a fever) and ALWAYS a funky smell to her breath. If you will make it a point to smell your kids' breath when they've been diagnosed with strep, you will probably begin to recognize that odor in the future. My daughter can even tell herself if she's got strep by the smell of her own breath. She's right 100% of the time!

1 mom found this helpful

Good Morning M., Definitely take her to her Dr. Could be a strained tendon or even the start of a imbilcal hernia.

Alot of the muscles and tendons travel down and attach in the lower tummy area. Our 9 yr old grand daughter complained of her tummy hurting ( same area )right after eat or when she needed the bathroom and would hold it to long. I do not remember what they finally said it was, it just went away.
AND she stopped trying to hold in her pee so long :)

I hope you get answers ASAP to your little girls discomfort.

1 mom found this helpful

I don't know anything about apendixes, but it could be her galbladder. I know it sounds like something an older person would have problems with, but I was 25 years old when my galbladder started causing me problems. I had it removed a week after an ultrasound showed it had stones & 'sluge' in it. It is not very common in someone as young as I was. I to did not have a fever. For me it was like a nawing ache & was uncomfortable, but not painful. My mother said her feelings were the same way when she had her's removed. I have heard that it can be painful.
Also, if her dr. seems to blow her pain off as nothing, Please get a 2nd opinion!

God Bless!

Hi M.,

My 11 year son had what sounds very similar. The doctor said it was acid reflux and limited his diet to very little to no dairy for a few days and put him on mild medication. Good luck. I hope it's nothing serious.


She could be having a lactose problem. My younger sister developed one later in life and passed it on to her daughter. It also could be Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Both are treatable though.

My son too was complaining about his tumy hurting this happened a yr ago,he would collapse on the floor and cry.I took him in and she said it was constipation which made sense cause he was so stubborn to use the potty to go poo,he'd hold it in for day's.But anyway to be on the safe side she ruled out appendix,and also did a lead level test since belly aches is a symptom of lead poisioning

It sounds like to me she could have an umbilcal hernia. It can happen at any age. My sister who is 51yrs old has had 3 of them. She was born with her belly button sticking out and back then the Dr. made her wear some kind of disc over it to push it back in. So we all seem to think that the hernias came from that. Plus she works out and is a competitive figure skater. But it might be worth looking into. Good Luck and I hope she gets feeling better soon. K. P.


Glad to hear it was just a stomach virus...

Hi M.,
I have 3 children, 11, 9, and 6.. and my 2 oldest complain of stomache pains a lot, most of the time it is servere consipation, I had to take them to the hospital before and that was the diagoses... The Doctors told me even if your child goes potty everyday they can still be consitpated. And it is a very common problem with kids.. Now my oldest son also has asthma, and he will complain of his stomache hurting and be really tired and it is normally when he is having asthma problems, his stomache contracts so hard to make up for his lungs that is hurts the muscles. So I would have your child looked at, even if it is constipation, atleast you will know..
Good luck

I hate to even bring it up but it could be cramping. Its normal these days for a little girl to get pains like that because they are ready to start their cycle. This could be it. I think 9 is way too young to have a child thinking about grown up things like their period but apparently it starts earlier and earlier now days. You may watch out for it and give her "the talk." Its a scary time for you both (if this is indeed what it is) but talking about it can make you and her both feel better. Also, talk with her doctor about it and see what the doc thinks. Hope this helps!

How weird, my 7yr old has been doing the same thing. She has some constipation at times and I think that is her problem. I asked the pharmacist and she recommended fiber chewables. Ask your dr or pharmacist about them.

Could it possibly be strep? My daughter has a horrible stomache and tired with no fever when she has strep.

Good luck,

my 4.5 year old has been telling me this for about the last 4 months so we're going to see a specialist. Both of my kids did have some sort of virus this past week though that didn't include a fever but did have horrible stomach pains ... around the belly button. even my 2 year old cried and pointed to his belly button. Could be just that particular virus. This pain and really tired feeling went on for about 7 days for each of them and the 8th day is was just done - back to normal. Hope she's feeling better soon!

Just saw your response about going to the emergency room. Watch her closely. I agree with the possible appendicitis message. My mother's appendix had ruptured and tests were done that revealed nothing. After being in the hospital on antibiotics and not improving, they did exploratory surgery; and her appendix had indeed ruptured.

Hi M.,
I don't know what causes this, but I had the same pain growing up. I just assumed it is part of growing pains. I am curious if anyone else can give you more information as my almost 9 year old daughter has started complaining about the same thing.

My sister's four year old complained of an ongoing stomachache for a couple of weeks and was diagnosed by her doctor with strep throat. Apparently, strep can have a stomachache as its only symptom in kids. Take her to the doctor, it may be this.

My daughter had the exact same thing at about the time she turned 9. I did take her to the doctor and they never found anything. I don't know whether it was nerves, or some kind of growing pain, or maybe she just needed a good poop. (I'm only half joking, sometimes kids don't get enough fiber and get kind of backed up). My daughter's tummy aches went away after about a month, and never came back. Best of luck to you.

Glad you got her in ~ hope she's better soon!

it could e her appendix. i had apendecitus and tought it was the flu. you can never be too careful.

Take her to a doctor. Once my son complained quite a bit about it and it ended up being his appendix. He was 8, almost 9.

Well I know this may be obvious but have you given her tums or pepto? I always have given that to my kids. Also well if that is where the pain is then it is probably not her appendix I mean I know that she is young but some girls do start their periods early so it could be that. However it sounds a little to high for that too. Maybe something is causing her "stress" or somthing is bothering her. I hope you get it figured out though!

It isn't uncommon for a child to complain of stomach ache if she is depressed or feeling like she isn't getting attention... Just a thought to throw out there... Good Luck!!

My daughter started complaining about tummy troubles on a daily basis. After several days her tummy started swelling up and she became very uncomfortable. It even started keeping her up at night. I took her to the doctor and she tested positive for celiac disease. Her little body cannot have gluten which is in wheat and a filler for many other things. I had never heard of it before but since we got diagnosed I'm learning how common it is especially in kids. If you take her to the doctor you might ask about it. It's controlled by diet.

Has she had changes in her diet? My son really suffered with lactose intolerance when he was younger and had similar complaints. Possibly she has consumed foods that she has intolerance to.

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