01 Aug 2017

Tummy Pains

Tummy pains are common in young people. Most cases are not serious and the pains go away without special treatment.

Common causes of tummy pains are:

  • Constipation or irritable bowel
  • Infections like gastroenteritis, kidney or bladder infections
  • Food poisoning or food allergy or intolerance
  • Appendicitis or bowel obstruction
  • Period pain
  • Stress or anxiety
  • No apparent cause

Pains can develop very quickly or more slowly. Vomiting, diarrhoea or fever may occur.

General advice

  • Encourage your child to drink fluids, especially water
  • Sitting on the toilet may help to ease the pain
  • Let them eat if they feel hungry – foods like toast, rice and banana
  • A warm heat pack may help ease the pain
  • Paracetamol may help. Do not give aspirin

Seek medical advice if your child has a high fever (more than 38.5C), has severe pain, does not want to move, is pale and lethargic, is frequently vomiting, not passing urine, has a rash or has had a recent injury.

Constipation is when someone has had fewer than two bowel movements in a week.

Usually due to:

  • Not enough exercise
  • Diet that doesn’t include enough water and fibre
  • Stress
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Avoiding going to the bathroom
  • Travel or change in daily routine
  • Sign of a medical condition

General advice – drink more water and fluids, eat more fibre foods like oats, fruit, vegetables, wholegrain breads, beans and popcorn, get enough exercise and develop a regular habit of going to the toilet after meals.

Laxatives may be used on occasion but if required more regularly then please see a Doctor.

Common examples:

  • Prune juice is a natural laxative, tastes better mixed with another juice.
  • Liquid paraffin mixtures eg Parachoc soften the stool
  • Movicol is a powder mixed with water
  • Coloxyl with senna tablets stimulate the bowel
  • Metamucil is a natural fibre powder and has a mild laxative effect.

Constipation often happens again so sometimes treatment needs to continue. It can be controlled along with a good diet, exercise and improvements in bowel habits.

Sister Margaret Bates
College Nurse


200 Stanmore Road
Stanmore NSW 2048
+61 2 9568 9333


Subscribe to eNews



+61 2 9568 9365

Wet Weather

+61 2 9432 6460