Gas pain is usually common in children and there are simple ways to treat it. Here we are discussing the signs and symptoms of gas pain in children and few ways to treat it.
Last Updated: Oct 22, 2020 11:29 GMT
What is gas pain in children?
Gas problems are common in children and normally don’t require a medical consultation, unless severe. When babies have gas, tiny bubbles tend to develop in their stomach and intestine, creating pressure and stomach pain. Since babies have a very delicate digestive system, they find it difficult in releasing the gas. Simple home remedies and dietary modifications help relieve children from the gas pain.
Signs and symptoms of gas pain
· Baby is fussy
· Producing loose and foul smelling stools and difficulty in passing stools
· Difficulty in sleeping
· Feeding difficulties
· Crying for long periods of time
· Clenching fist repeatedly
· Increased burping
· Pulling of legs towards the tummy
· A swollen stomach
Common causes of gas problems
1. Lactose Intolerance: This condition happens when the small intestine is unable to produce or produce fewer enzymes called lactase. Lactase is responsible for breaking down the lactose in milk. A child with lactose intolerance can have gas symptoms on consumption of milk and dairy products.
2. Fruit juices: Consumption of high amounts of fruit juices can cause bloating and gassiness in children.
3. Improper Chewing: Sometimes gas problems can happen due to improper chewing of food while eating.
4. Swallowing air: Fast consumption of foods may lead to ingestion of excess air that result in gassiness. Sometimes excessive crying can also lead to gas pain.
5. Medical conditions: Sometimes gas symptoms can be due to conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and reflux.
Ways to avoid gas pain
1. If you feel that your baby has a persistent gas pain, you can consider switching over to a different formula. There are a number of gentle and comfortable baby formulas available in the market. Changing to lactose free formula is usually unnecessary as lactose intolerance is considered to be very rare and babies will not have any prominent symptoms of lactose intolerance until they are 2 to 5 years old. Lactose free formula is usually prescribed to children who have severe diarrhea due to rotavirus.
2. If you notice that your child has gas pain and other symptoms like diarrhea, wheezing, irritability and hives, it could be a sign of milk protein allergies. In such instances, soy formula or other hypoallergenic formula drinks are recommended.
3. If you are breastfeeding, you can avoid foods that increase gas symptoms in your children. If it is a protein allergy, you can minimize the amount of milk and other dairy products from your diet.
4. Some simple dietary modification can also help avoid gas pain. It is ideal to avoid fruit juices with high sorbitol content like apple, pear, and grape and prune juice.
5. Foods that contain artificial sweeteners like sugar free drinks, candy and gum need to be avoided. Also avoid carbonated drinks.
6. In case of lactose intolerance, give your child almond or rice milk, instead of cow’s milk.
7. The other ways to avoid gas problems in children include providing a warm bath at night, massaging your toddler’s tummy with oil and placing a warm towel or water bottle on the child’s tummy to release the gas.
8. During breastfeeding or bottle feeding, always hold your toddler’s head high and after every feed do gentle burping to reduce gassiness.
9. Moving your baby’s legs in a bicycle motion can help relieve the trapped gas.
1. Your pediatrician may recommend medications like Infants' Mylicon oral drops, Gas-X, and Mylanta to help relieve gas pain in children.
2. Some digestive enzymes like Beano are available in the form of drops or a chew tablet that helps in easy digestion of fiber rich foods.
It is not advisable to provide over the counter medicines and antacids to toddlers as they can harm the children.
Seek medical consultation if your child seems uncomfortable, has abdominal pain, cries for long hours and has blood in the stools.