Kids And Anxiety: When ‘Stomach Hurts’ Is A Tell-Tale Sign

Kids And Anxiety
Photo by Sorapop Udomsri

Is your child complaining about stomach pain that won’t go away? While it may seem minor, it could be a tell-tale sign of anxiety. Many children, who may not be comfortable expressing their feelings, will tell their parents that their stomach hurts. This is a way for them to alert their parents that something is wrong and they need help. In this article, we will explore the connection between kids and anxiety and how to recognize the signs when ‘stomach hurts’ is a tell-tale sign your child may be struggling.

What Is Anxiety and How Does it Affect Kids?

Anxiety is a feeling of worry and fear that everyone experiences from time to time. However, anxiety disorder is called an anxiety disorder when it becomes a more persistent feeling and begins to interfere with daily life. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problem for children and adolescents and include conditions such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety, and phobias.

When kids experience, anxiety can manifest in various ways, including physical symptoms. One of the most common physical symptoms experienced by kids with anxiety is stomach pain or discomfort. This type of physical symptom is more common in younger children and can often be overlooked by parents as just a regular stomach ache. However, if your child is complaining of stomach pain that doesn’t seem to be the result of another physical cause, it could be a sign of anxiety.

It is essential to recognize and understand the signs of anxiety in your child or teen so that you can provide support and seek professional help if needed. Other symptoms of anxiety that may be overlooked include changes in behavior, such as school refusal, changes in sleep or eating patterns, or irritability. If you start noticing any of these signs in your child, you must talk to them and ensure they are feeling okay.

Anxiety can be a difficult and stressful experience for kids, but it is essential to remember that it is treatable. With the right help and support, kids can learn to manage their anxiety and go on to lead happy, successful lives.

What Are Common Signs of Anxiety in Kids?

When it comes to identifying anxiety in kids can be a tricky business. Kids often have difficulty expressing their feelings and may present with various vague symptoms that can be difficult to pinpoint.

A ubiquitous sign of anxiety in kids is stomach pain. Kids may be unable to articulate the underlying thoughts and feelings of worry, fear, or unease, causing their pressures. However, they may be able to express the physical manifestations of their concerns (i.e., a stomach ache) quite easily.

Other physical symptoms of anxiety in kids can include dizziness or feel faint, excessive sweating, trembling or shaking, rapid or irregular heartbeat, headaches, muscle tension or soreness, dry mouth, nausea or vomiting, and difficulty breathing.

Behaviorally, anxiety in kids can express itself through avoidance of particular activities or situations, refusal to attend school or events, restlessness or difficulty concentrating, changes in sleeping patterns or appetite, increased irritability or arguing, and general difficulty regulating emotions.

Other signs of anxiety in kids include physical and verbal outbursts, defiance of social norms, difficulty making or keeping friends, excessive worry about school performance, difficulty with relationships, and out-of-character behaviors.

If you suspect your child is struggling with anxiety, you must talk to them about it. It’s also good to speak to a doctor or mental health professional for a more accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

When identifying anxiety in kids, don’t discount the possibility of your child complaining of stomach hurt. It may be the first tell-tale sign that something is going on. If this is the case, take action by seeking help as soon as possible.

When Should I Take My Child to See a Doctor?

If your child is complaining of stomach pain that lasts more than a few days or seems to come out of nowhere, it is essential to take them to the doctor. Especially if the pain becomes severe, it could signify something more serious, like appendicitis. Additionally, suppose your child is exhibiting other worrisome physical symptoms along the stomach, pain such as fever, excessive fatigue, vomiting, or diarrhea. In that case, it is also essential to contact a doctor. A medical professional can evaluate the underlying cause of your child’s discomfort and provide the proper treatment or advice to address it.

What Techniques Can I Use to Help My Child Manage Anxiety?

When your child is feeling anxious, there are some techniques you can use to help them manage their distress and worry. Deep breathing is a great way to help kids calm down and focus. Make sure your child inhales and exhales slowly, counting each breath to five to regulate their breathing. Encourage them to practice when they feel their “stomach hurt” and feel anxiety coming on. Another effective tool is progressive muscle relaxation, which involves tensing and relaxing different muscle groups, helping your child to release any built-up stress. Distraction techniques like playing a game, going for a walk, or even counting other objects can help your child’s mind off their worries. Lastly, it is essential to focus on encouraging language and supporting your child, letting them know it is okay to feel anxious, and help normalize the experience.

What Are Some Other Ways to Reduce Anxiety in My Child?

When a child is experiencing anxiety, it’s essential to take action right away. In addition to helping your child recognize when their “stomach hurts” as a sign of anxiety, there are other steps you can take to reduce anxiety in your child. Educate your child on their fear and provide them with stress management tools, such as mindfulness or breathing exercises. Show them the importance of physical activity – regular exercise can reduce stress and increase relaxation. Additionally, reach out to mental health professionals if needed – a mental health professional can help your child manage their anxiety in a healthy, effective way.


This article has provided a comprehensive overview of the various signs and symptoms of anxiety in children. It has also outlined some techniques parents can use to help their children manage their anxiety and other ways to reduce their stress. Ultimately, it is essential to remember that children are incredibly resilient, and parents should never forget that. While anxiety can be challenging for children and parents alike, with patience, understanding, and effective management, parents can help their children to overcome it.


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