Abdominal pain (peds)

For adult patients see Abdominal pain, abdominal pain in pregnancy, and/or abdominal pain (geriatrics)


  • Bilious emesis is a surgical emergency until proven otherwise

Clinical Features

Differential Diagnosis

Pediatric Abdominal Pain

0–3 Months Old

3 mo–3 y old

3 y old–adolescence


Depends on location and history

  • Consider:
  • Possible imaging:
    • Ultrasound
    • CT
      • May be associated with 1/1,000 lifetime risk of malignancy
    • Abdominal radiography
      • Abdominal plain xray films are specific, but not sensitive. As such, they have very little utility in the workup of pediatric abdominal pain, unless concerned for a foreign body. Do NOT use films to "confirm" a diagnosis of "constipation," as this is not specific and may also be found during surgical emergencies (e.g. appendicitis).


  • Based on diagnosis


  • Depends on underlying etiology
    • If symptoms are fully resolved and the patient has a benign abdominal exam, most patients go home with return precautions
    • In general, unclear cases with continued pain should NOT be discharged home

See Also