Children are often fraught with tummy troubles. Their growing bodies are forced to quickly learn what they want to tolerate and how much of it. Indecision on the part of the belly, however, can often lead to indigestion, and, in some cases, constipation and bloating. While you may write off your child’s hard bloated stomach, when pain is involved, it’s often a whole new ballgame.
A large majority of the time, gas is the culprit for a hard bloated stomach in children. This can last for hours and is often painful. However, it is usually easily remedied with exercises or a cup of strongly brewed ginger tea. While you may be tempted to relieve your little one’s hard bloated stomach symptoms easily with over the counter medication, do not ignore the long term side effects of chemical pain killers, so consider natural home remedies instead. Children can also fall victim to bloating due to crying (which causes excessive air gulping) and even over-stimulation. All of these causes of bloating are normal and common, but equally uncomfortable to your little one.
Food sensitivities, however, are the largest and most often overlooked cause of a hard bloated stomach with pain in children. While many adults generally have few, if any, food allergies or sensitivities, children can have reactions, allergic or otherwise, to many everyday foods, because their immune system is still building itself up. Gluten allergy symptoms in children, for instance, manifest themselves sometimes in the form of a hard bloated stomach. Gluten sensitivity in general can be a huge contributor to bloating symptoms not only in nearly quarter of adults of European descent, but also in children. And while there is some difference between gluten intolerance vs celiac disease, the symptoms are very similar and should be evaluated by your physician to determine if dietary changes need to be made to provide long term comfort and relief for your child’s stomach bloating and pain. It is possible that your child may need less bloat inducing foods or that he or she needs to reduce or limit not only wheat and high carb intake, but also lactose since it is also a common sensitivity causing food type.
No matter the cause of your child’s ballooning belly, look to dietary changes and evaluate whether or not the source of your little one’s discomfort might be on their dinner plate. Significantly reduce or eliminate sugar, gluten-containing and processed foods, and cook home-made meals from scratch. Regardless, it’s important to understand that excessively hard bloated stomach with or without pain can be a sign and symptom of underlying health conditions. If you feel that your child’s tummy troubles are abnormal or too frequent, talk to their doctor about the concerning symptoms.