When Should I Take My Child to the ER for Abdominal Pain?

Most children experience abdominal pain at one time or another. Often, abdominal pain can be a simple, temporary reaction to food and activity or a symptom of stomach flu or food poisoning. In other cases, stomach pain can indicate a more serious issue. It is important for parents to recognize whether a child’s pain is severe enough to require an emergency department visit.

Consider the following guidelines to determine if emergency care is necessary.

If Your Child Has These Symptoms, Emergency Care May Be Necessary

Seek ER treatment if the abdominal pain meets the following parameters:

  • The child is inconsolable
  • Pain is severe and unrelenting
  • The abdomen is tender to the touch or pain radiates to your child’s back

Your child may need emergency care if his or her stomach pain is accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Significant or bloody diarrhea
  • The child is difficult to rouse or has no interest in eating or drinking
  • Seizures or fainting
  • Distended abdomen

The Medical Center of Aurora offers 3 ER locations:

All locations are open 24/7 and are staffed by board-certified emergency physicians and experienced nurses. Please see the map below for locations, addresses, and phone numbers.