Bloating is not limited to adults. Here are the most prevalent causes of child bloating and how to help alleviate the discomfort.
There are certainly many complaints about bloating among your acquaintances, but the topic of conversation is likely their own too-tight jeans, not their children’s. Children can undoubtedly develop a distended, bloated stomach, along with the associated discomfort. They simply lack the language to express themselves.
According to Tamara Duker Freuman, R.D., an expert in digestive health, children lack the vocabulary to identify bloating. They will report having a stomachache or that their stomach hurts.
Consider one of the following causes the next time your child complains of abdominal pain and has a bloated stomach.
1. Your Kid Is Only Swallowing Air
Aerophagia, or the act of ingesting excess air, can result in a number of unpleasant digestive complications. Included among these symptoms are:
- Bloated or rumbling stomach.
- Abdominal discomfort or pain.
- Bloated stomach from extra air.
Freuman states that some children have a nervous habit of swallowing extra air when they are concerned or worried. Some may just swallow more if they chew gum, for instance.
How to help:
Teach your youngster deep breathing exercises to aid in stress management, like a meditation app. Freuman explains that in the interim, over-the-counter simethicone, the same substance in the infant gas drops you gave your child, can help them feel better. Remember that these drops are pricey and may not always be effective.
2. Your Infant Has Constipation
It’s a big problem among kids that sometimes goes unreported by parents, especially if kids are old enough to use the restroom by themselves. Children’s reluctance to use the restroom at school is a common reason for withholding (younger kids are resisting potty training). This might result in painful bowel movements, constipation, and a firm, distended abdomen.
How to help:
Freuman proposes displaying the Bristol Stool Chart to your children. That will make them giggle, but it will also educate them on what healthy feces looks like and when to let you know if something is wrong. Children with chronic constipation should contact a pediatrician or gastroenterologist (GI).
A few basic ways to prevent constipation include:
- Consuming more fiber-rich foods such as whole grains, berries, and peas.
- Consuming excess amounts of water to maintain hydration.
- Keeping active so that food can pass more efficiently through the intestines.
- Maintaining a consistent food plan will assist in building a natural potty schedule.
3. Your Kid Is Lactose Intolerant
During childhood or adolescence, lactose intolerance and the inability to adequately digest the natural sugar in milk, generally manifests. The symptoms, including bloating, gas, and diarrhea, may not show until 6 to 10 hours after consuming lactose, making it difficult to diagnose. Hence, the milk your child consumes for breakfast may not trouble them until evening, according to Freuman.
Lactose intolerance is most commonly caused by dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. Yet, many processed meals include lactose and may be aggravating your child’s stomach. Among the foods to avoid are the following:
- Cereal for breakfast.
- Prepackaged treats
- Sausages and lunchmeats.
- Products such as pancakes, cookies, and cakes are baked.
How to help:
See your child’s pediatrician if you suspect lactose intolerance in order to obtain a clinical diagnosis. Most of the time, they recommend eliminating dairy from the diet and then gradually reintroducing it to determine whether there is a change and how much dairy a person can take. In addition, they may conduct a hydrogen breath test, which detects hydrogen or methane in your child’s breath, indicating bacterial overgrowth in the intestines.
4. Your Youngster Has Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), like bloating, is commonly regarded as an adult issue. Freuman asserts that many persons with IBS developed symptoms as youngsters. Several kid-friendly foods, such as milk, fruit, packaged snacks, and chocolate, are major IBS-related constipation or diarrhea triggers.
Common symptoms of IBS in children include:
- Persistent abdominal pain.
- Bloating, nausea, and gas.
- Both diarrhea and constipation are present.
- Urgency when a bowel movement is required.
- Unfinished bowel motions.
- Mucus in feces.
- Reduced appetite
How to help:
Consult your child’s pediatrician, who should perform an assessment. Working with a dietician might help you determine dietary modifications that will alleviate IBS symptoms. In some circumstances, it may be as simple as increasing your child’s fiber intake.