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Young children may experience gas problems just the way adults do. Though most cases of gas problem in toddlers are not a cause of great concern, if you find your toddler in great pain and discomfort, you should get medical help. Here’s all that you need to know about gas problems in toddlers and how to effectively deal with it!
Is It Normal for a Child to Have Intestinal Gas?
Yes, it is very normal for a child to have intestinal gas and, in most cases, it is not a matter of great concern. It is incredibly natural for your toddler to pass out gas, rather it is unavoidable. However, in cases where the gas does not pass with ease, and the child feels uncomfortable, it may lead to digestive problems. There can be many reasons that may cause a gas problem in young children and toddlers.
Causes of Gas Pain in Toddlers
Here are some of the reasons that may cause a gas problem in toddlers:
- Change In Diet: Sometimes, including new food items in your child’s diet may cause excessive gas formation in their tummies. This is quite a common digestion problem in children. Hence, parents should enforce a staple diet.
- Antibiotic Medicines: Abdominal gas and cramping may be caused if your child is on some antibiotic medication.
- Lactose Intolerance: In case your child is lactose intolerant, it means that milk or any milk product can cause the excess formation of gas or stomach discomfort in your child.
- Improper Chewing: Many young children and toddlers do not chew their food properly. This leads to more gas production.
- Swallowing More Air While Eating: Sometimes, toddlers may swallow more air while drinking and eating. This may lead to the formation of gas in their bellies.
- Not Drinking Adequate Amounts Of Water: Drinking enough water keeps the digestion process in place and wards off any digestion-related problem at bay, but if your child is not drinking enough water, it may lead to digestive problems and formation of gas.
- Certain Food Items: Certain food items such as beans, peas and vegetables like broccoli and kale may cause gas. It is important to keep the consumption of such food items to moderate levels.
- Food With High Fat or Fibre Content: Sometimes, food items that are rich in fat or have high fibre content, such as cereals and french fries, may induce gastrointestinal distress in your baby.
- Consuming Large Amounts of Fruit Juices: Refrain from giving more than one glass of fruit juice a day to your child. Some children cannot digest the fructose and sucrose that is present in the juice, and it may cause gas trouble in your child.
- Consuming Carbonated or Aerated Drinks: Such drinks have high levels of phosphoric acid, which may cause problems of indigestion and gas in young children.
Signs and Symptoms
If you find it difficult to establish that your child has a gas problem, the following signs and symptoms may help you know it:
- If your child looks uncomfortable.
- If you notice your child clenching his fists.
- If you see your child burping more than usual.
- If you find your child squirming.
- If you feel your child is cranky and crying even after being fed.
- If your child pulls up his legs towards his tummy.
- If your child is facing difficulty passing stool.
- If your child is grunting and writhing.
If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should seek advice from your doctor.
How to Prevent Gas Problems in Toddlers
You may adopt the following measures to prevent a gas problem in your child:
- Try to burp your child after every feed to expel any swallowed air.
- If your baby is bottle-fed, make sure the nipple hole is not too large, as your baby may suck air bubbles with it.
Home Remedies for Gas in Toddlers
You may try the following home remedies to ease gas problems in toddlers:
- Check the Fluid Intake: Adequate amount of water and other fluids prevent constipation and reduce the chances of gas problems.
- Establish Good Eating Habits: Make sure your toddler chews on food nicely before swallowing.
- Include More Fibrous Foods: Adding more fibrous foods will help in keeping your toddler’s digestive system in place, which means lesser gastric problems.
- Massaging Your Child’s Belly: It is an efficient way of releasing gas from your baby’s belly. Work in clockwise motions for smooth passage of gas.
- Refrain From Giving Acidic Food: Food items such as cauliflower, cabbage, peas and onions are the common culprits for causing gas. Do not feed such food items if your child experiences gas problems often.
- Apply Warm Compressions: You may apply warm compression to provide relief to your baby. This not only helps expel the gas but also relaxes your baby.
- Fennel: You may give fennel to your baby as it is beneficial in relieving digestive problems. If your child can chew, you may provide roasted fennels seeds or else boil some fennel seeds in water and give it to your child 2 to 3 times a day.
Though the home-remedies mentioned earlier are useful in treating gas problems in toddlers, if you notice your child in pain or discomfort even after trying these measures, you should seek immediate medical help.
Gas problems are incredibly typical in young children, and there is nothing to worry about. However, some cases of gas problems in toddlers may be due to a serious condition. It is a good idea to get in touch with your doctor to discuss your concerns regarding the same. Timely medical intervention can ward off any severe complication that may arise.