Acute abdominal pain is one of the most common complaints in children and it poses a diagnostic challenge owing to the variety of underlying causes acute abdominal pain is usually a self limiting benign condition such as in gastroenteritis constipation or viral illness . The key consideration in acute abdominal pain is the differentiation between surgical and non surgical causes non specific abdominal pain is very common but is a diagnosis of exclusion once red flags are considered see additional notes below for more details symptoms in neonates may be attributed by parents as abdominal pain. Acute abdominal pain accounts for approximately 9 of childhood primary care office visits symptoms and signs that increase the likelihood of a surgical cause for pain include fever bilious . Some particularly elderly people are stoic whereas others exaggerate their symptoms infants young children and some elderly people may have difficulty localizing the pain the term acute abdomen refers to abdominal symptoms and signs of such severity or concern that disorders requiring surgery should be considered
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