Two out of three children have gastrointestinal complaints

Two out of three children have gastrointestinal complaints / Health News
Indigestion is widespread in children
Many children suffer from gastrointestinal complaints, according to the results of a survey conducted by opinion research company forsa on behalf of the Federal Association of German Pharmacists Associations (ABDA). Thus, about two-thirds of children under the age of 12 occasionally have gastrointestinal problems, with nausea, diarrhea and stomach pain the most common digestive problems, according to the ABDA.

Gastrointestinal complaints are seen in many children. (Image: photophonie /

Only a third of children (36 percent) are not affected by gastrointestinal complaints, according to the latest survey results. However, a large proportion of adolescents have repeated problems. In the parents' survey conducted by the opinion research institute forsa, almost half of the parents (44 percent) stated that their child occasionally suffers from nausea and vomiting (including travel sickness). A quarter of children have repeated diarrhea and around 20 percent occasionally suffer from stomach pain. A total of 460 parents of children under the age of 12 were interviewed by the pollster during the past year. Multiple answers to the complaints were possible.

Many parents first rely on home remedies
According to ABDA President Friedemann Schmidt, most parents are waiting for gastrointestinal complaints of the children, "first, whether the symptoms improve or try to help their child with home remedies." If this is not enough, be for Children also have well-tolerated over-the-counter medicines available. "The pharmacists therefore take a great deal of responsibility in advising their parents," continues Friedemann. For example, according to the ABDA president, every tenth child with stomachache receives over-the-counter medications - without a previous doctor's visit. With the other indigestion the self-medication is a bit higher. (Diarrhea: 13 percent, constipation: 11 percent).

Self-medication is not always appropriate
However, according to the expert, self-medication is not always appropriate. Here it also depends on the age of the children, whether the gastrointestinal discomfort can be treated in self-medication or whether a doctor's visit is appropriate. For example, diarrhea in children up to the age of two years should always be treated by a doctor, as this can easily lead to internal dehydration (dehydration). Recognizable become the acute lack of fluid in children, for example, by indifference or sunken cheeks and eyes. Therefore, "it is important to provide children with diarrhea an electrolyte solution," said the ABDA. Home remedies such as "cola with pretzel sticks" are unsuitable because it contains too much sugar, but important salts such as potassium are missing. When self-medication other gastrointestinal complaints should also be considered age limits. For example, in a child under the age of seven suffering from heartburn or stomach ache, self-medication without a previous visit to a doctor is not recommended. The age limit of self-medication for constipation is six years, reports the Federal Association of German pharmacists associations. (Fp)