Bedtime has come and gone. Taco night is all cleaned up. You’ve settled in to watch your favorite show when your youngest kid comes into the room to say… “My tummy hurts!” As a parent or caretaker, you’ve likely encountered this scenario countless times. And it certainly tugs on your heartstrings to see your child holding their stomach in discomfort. But fear not because you're not alone in this—Pepto Kids’ got your back.
One of the issues your child may be dealing with is indigestion - a group of pesky gastrointestinal symptoms that occur together.1 About 1 in 4 people in the United States experience indigestion each year.1 It may seem to happen occasionally or without a specific reason.1 Even in the occasional instance, it most definitely halts the fun in any fun family park day or activity.
This article gives you ten simple ways to help soothe your kid’s upset stomach. Let's dive in!
Why Your Kid Might Say, “My Tummy Hurts.”
Your child may complain that their tummy hurts for several reasons, including indigestion, heartburn, or a sour stomach.
Keep reading to understand what is happening in your child’s body in these four instances.
Your child’s stomach gets to work right after eating. Within 3-5 hours, it breaks down food, and the stomach stretches.2 Some of the organs in your child’s abdomen that help with digestion shrink to make way for the stomach as it stretches.2 This stretching and contracting make strong digestive juices that can irritate your child’s tissues and cause tummy discomfort.2
Indigestion can often feel like you are too full soon after you start eating, or feeling uncomfortably full after finishing a meal.1
When stomach acid goes back up into the tube (esophagus) that carries food from the mouth to the stomach, this can cause your child to feel a burning sensation in their chest or throat.3 This feeling is called heartburn.
Your child’s hurting tummy may be from something as simple as poor table manners. Eating too fast or too much could be the problem. Or even playing with straws and swallowing air can all lead to an “upset stomach” feeling.2
Too much food or drink can stretch the stomach and cause gastric juices to escape into the esophagus, leading to heartburn.2
A sour stomach is a non-medical term for an upset stomach, usually due to the build-up of acid in the stomach. The phrase “sour stomach” is sometimes used interchangeably with indigestion or heartburn.
If you ever have any real concerns, it’s always a good idea to consult your child’s pediatrician to let the experts confirm what may be causing their tummy troubles.
What to Give Your Child for an Upset Stomach
If your child is experiencing occasional upset stomach, you can give them a supplement like Pepto Kids Gummies. Pepto Kids Gummies are designed with kids in mind to help relieve occasional upset stomach, acid indigestion, sour stomach, and heartburn.*
The main ingredient in Pepto Kids Gummies is calcium phosphate. Children aged 4-5 years can chew 1 gummy, up to two times a day as needed. Children aged 6 years and above can chew 2 gummies, up to two times a day as needed.
Pepto Kids Gummies are convenient for on-the-go use, and they also come in the bubble gum flavor, so you can trust that your kids will take them when needed.
We recommend checking with your child’s pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns about which product is right for your child’s upset stomach.
9 Home Remedies for Your Child’s Upset Stomach
We pull out all the stops when it comes to our little ones—whether that’s driving an extra half hour to find their favorite chicken nuggets or trying all the home remedies to help soothe their tummies. Keep reading for 10 home remedies to soothe your kid’s upset stomach.
1. Keep refilling the sippy cup with water
Water is the best thing to give your little one to drink all day, every day. Water helps break down food, soften stool, and prevent constipation. Water can also help to wash things down when kids are eating including any stomach acid that may have escaped and can cause occasional heartburn symptoms.2 When in doubt – give your kid water to drink.
Chewing gum can prevent acid reflux after eating. For kids who are old enough chewing gum causes saliva to be produced which when swallowed helps wash acid that might have escaped into the throat back into the tummy.4
2. Help your child get some rest
Mental or physical stress can negatively influence gastrointestinal function and cause symptoms like heartburn and indigestion.5 Stress can slow down the movement of food from the stomach to the intestines.5 We all know kids have different ways of communicating to us when they are over tired/stressed. Ensuring they are well rested, getting those naps in can help them better respond to the challenges in their day, hopefully minimizing the stress they feel.
Helping your child get some rest, such as taking a nap can help ease their stress and prevent indigestion.
3. Practice deep, calming breathing exercises
A crying episode can make your kid feel all kinds of upset, even in their stomach. Get down to your child’s level when this happens and encourage them to take slow, deep breaths, inhaling in through the nose, and exhaling out from the mouth. This will help activate your child's relaxation response and lower their stress level. Limiting stress helps them digest properly.6
4. Add lemon juice to warm water and honey
Mixing a small amount of lemon juice with warm water and honey produces compounds that can neutralize the acid in your child’s stomach.7 Talk to your child’s pediatrician first to see if lemon juice and/or honey are safe options for your child.
5. Swap the junk food for broccoli and beans
Foods rich in fiber can make your child feel fuller, faster. Fiber-rich foods include raspberries, chia seeds, lentils, and navy beans.8 Plus, many of these foods have nutritional value that sugar-y and greasy snacks just can’t keep up with.
6. Ditch the drive-through meals
Your kid may try to convince you that the only thing that will make them feel better is their favorite fast-food. Don’t cave in and give your kid a large serving of greasy fried foods when they have tummy troubles. Fatty foods typically take a longer time to digest.9 This increases the chances that they can result in heartburn.9
7. Keep tabs on what foods trigger your child’s upset stomach
Children may have different triggers for their occasional heartburn. Use a diary to track your child’s heartburn triggers it will help you keep their tummy happy and if you need to talk to their pediatrician knowing which foods are problematic will be helpful in those conversations too.9
8. Elevate the head of your child’s bed
Raise the head of your child’s bed by 6-8 inches. This can help prevent stomach acid from flowing back up into the esophagus if your child’s occasional heartburn is causing tummy troubles at night.
9. Call the little tummy expert
Your child’s doctor should be your primary contact for any health concerns. With prior knowledge of your child’s health history, your child’s pediatrician can help you determine what’s going on in that little tummy. It’s always a good idea to call and check in with your pediatrician. Many primary healthcare providers also have online portals where you can ask questions throughout the day without having to go in for a full doctor’s visit.
*THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE, OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.
1. Definition & Facts of Indigestion - NIDDK. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Accessed April 27, 2023. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/indigestion-dyspepsia/definition-facts
2. Indigestion: Symptoms, Causes & How to Find Relief. Cleveland Clinic. Accessed May 1, 2023. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/symptoms/7316-indigestion-dyspepsia
3. Heartburn. Accessed April 30, 2023. https://medlineplus.gov/heartburn.html
4. Avidan B, et al. Walking and chewing reduce postprandial acid reflux. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2001 Feb;15(2):151-5.
5. Mertz H. Stress and the Gut. UNC Sch Med Chap Hill NC Www MED UNC EDUIBS. Published online 2011.
6. Take a Deep Breath. The American Institute of Stress. Accessed May 24, 2023. https://www.stress.org/take-a-deep-breath
7. GERD Diet: Foods That Help with Acid Reflux (Heartburn). Johns Hopkins Medicine. Accessed May 22, 2023. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/gerd-diet-foods-that-help-with-acid-reflux-heartburn
8. High Fiber Foods, Metamucil. Accessed May 17, 2023. https://www.metamucil.com/en-us/articles/fiber-101/high-fiber-foods
9. Common Heartburn Triggers. WebMD. Accessed May 2, 2023. https://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/triggers