Here are some signs and symptoms of digestive tract problems in your kids and here are also some ways you can alleviate their pain.
Complaints of chest pain
Symptoms of heartburn are common in young children and can cause irritation and discomfort. Heartburn is triggered when stomach acid rises up the oesophagus, producing a mild burning sensation. Diet is one of the main triggers of heartburn symptoms, especially if you’re introducing new foods to your child’s diet, particularly spicy or acidic foods.
If your child begins to show little interest in food, complains of chest pain, or is coughing and wheezing, this may be an indication of heartburn. Other symptoms of heartburn include complaints of a sore throat, pain while swallowing, or even vomiting.
Of course, you should always speak to your GP if you have concerns around your child’s health, although if symptoms are mild, you can start by introducing lifestyle modifications. Changes that may see an improvement in symptoms are removing specific foods from your child’s diet, or encouraging your child to avoid lying down right after meals.
If these changes fail to improve your child’s symptoms, an antacid may be the way to go. Antacids work by counteracting the stomach acid produced during an episode of heartburn – resulting in an eased sense of irritation.
Try: Guardium Acid Reflux Relief 7 Tablets, RRP $6.99. Available at www.chemistwarehouse.com.au
Complaints of stomach pain
Constipation in children is a common issue caused by incorrect diet, changes in diet or even toilet training. Fortunately, in most cases constipation is temporary and easily treatable.
Constipation can be detected by complaints of stomach pain or infrequent bowel movement - perhaps even stools that are hard or dry and difficult to pass. Encouraging your child to eat more fibrous foods such as fruits and vegetables is a great way to assist with alleviating constipation. Drinking water can also do wonders.
If simple dietary changes aren’t assisting the symptoms, you can consider the short-term solution of over-the-counter laxatives. Macrogol is a specific type of laxative suitable for little ones. It works by drawing water from the rest of the body, resulting in softened bowel movements.
Try: Chemists’ Own® Macrogol with Electrolytes Junior 6.88 g 30 sachets, RRP $19.99. Available at www.pharmacydirect.com.au
An increase in bathroom trips
Diarrhea is a digestive trouble that parents should lookout for due the side-effects it can cause. Diarrhea in children can be detected through complaints of a stomach-ache, headaches, or an increased frequency of bowel movements. The danger with diarrhea is the connection this has to dehydration. The loss of fluids from the body through frequent and loose bowels movements prevents the adequate absorption of liquids.
Due to the risks of dehydration, the condition should be monitored closely and treated if symptoms worsen. Children should be encouraged to increase water intake to counteract loss of fluids - electrolytes can also be introduced to replenish these. Diarrhea is the gut’s attempt to expel toxins from the body, so medications such as anti-diarrheal drugs should be avoided as these will simply slow down the body’s natural process. In most cases in children, diarrhoea will solve itself as the body clears itself of toxins.
Try: Hydralyte Rehydration Orange Flavoured Ice Blocks 16 Pack, RRP $16.19. Available at www.chemistwarehouse.com.au