"Although you can usually tell if your child's caught a stomach bug -- she'll have vomiting or diarrhea that lasts 24 to 48 hours -- you should know these other common causes of tummy trouble, and how you can help her feel better.
What it feels like: Cramping and uncomfortable bloating are the usual symptoms.
What's going on: If your child has gone for two or more days without pooping, you can reasonably assume that constipation is causing her stomachache. In fact, constipation causes almost half of all acute abdominal pain in kids, according to a recent study in the Journal of Pediatrics. But even if she does go to the bathroom regularly, she could still be constipated. "Some kids will tell you they have a bowel movement every day, but they're not eliminating everything from their colon properly," says Dan Thomas, MD, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Gas is produced when food (especially sugar) is broken down by bacteria in the large intestine. This is a normal process, but some kids develop more gas than others. If your child is lactose intolerant, eating dairy products will cause painful gas."
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