Things you don’t want to hear whispered in your ear at 1 am on a Saturday night: Mama, I threw up in my bed. That was my weekend, and how was yours?
Honestly, if I had a gross-out scale as a nurse and mom, tummy troubles, gastrointestinal bugs, and all that goes with it would rank up there at the very top. I really don’t like dealing with tummy troubles of any kind. Since we just got over 5 days of vomit over here, I will admit to you that while I’m relieved it is over, I’m slightly traumatized anytime the dreaded GI bug hits this household. That’s why I’m passionate about treating tummy troubles in kids.
One trick I relied on in a clinical setting and use with my own kids is a tool to be able to decipher where or what hurts. Sometimes, they just feel so lousy, but cannot verbalize it. Often, they just feel nauseous and can’t explain that feeling. I created an easy thumbmeter with my own kiddos and it has worked wonders. Thumbs up and we’re good, to the side and we are hanging in there, and thumbs down can mean a trip to the bathroom or anticipate an accident or clean up. Using this easy and kid-friendly thumbmeter often can help us understand how bad they truly feel and makes it a little easier on them.
Once I’ve obtained my clinical data from my high-tech clinical tool known as a thumb, I try to dig into my bag of comfort measures. Tummy troubles may be caused by a gastrointestinal virus, something digested that didn’t sit well, constipation, stress, gas, etc. Regardless, a few small interventions can make a big difference and help alleviate discomfort, and provide some reassurance. Here are three tips to treating tummy troubles in kids.
- Consider using a warm towel to lay over the cramping tummy of a child. Please note the caution I’m taking in specifying that it should be warm (NOT hot). Ring a washcloth out in warm water and apply gently to the tummy for a few minutes. The warmth can soothe the cramps even if it is just temporary and provide some relief.
- Do use distraction within reason. Depending on how lousy they are feeling, I will offer my kids a book, the iPad, or a simple back rub and sing to them or talk. *Distraction is also helpful when trying to find the nearest bathroom for your child while out shopping to prevent an accident in aisle three.
- Set a relaxing mood. Sounds simple, but when we start stressing, so do the little ones. Using some calming music, a quiet voice, or dim lighting can give environmental cues that it’s going to be okay. Especially in kids that have anxiety, these little hints can make a big difference and help them achieve a level of comfort.
When it comes to constipation and other digestive issues, click here for great information by Dr. Wendy Swanson of Seattle Mama Doc.
I’m proud to join the conversation and empower parents as a blogging ambassador with the CHPA (Consumer Health Products Association) Educational Foundation and KnowYourOTCs.org. This is a sponsored post. While I have received compensation by the CHPA Educational Foundation, KnowYourOTCs, my opinions are my own.