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Abdominal pain is one of the most common complaints among school aged kids, whether it comes to the doctor’s attention or not. It is estimated in the U.S. to account for 5 percent of all unscheduled pediatrician office visits.
It is somewhat more common in girls, kids aged 4-6 and early adolescence and children of single parents.
In addressing this issue, it is helpful to classify the pain as chronic or acute. By definition, chronic abdominal pain means three or more episodes of abdominal pain over a three month period. In clinically practical terms, pain that lasts more than one to two months can also be classified as chronic.
Trade secret: government employees are not the only ones who are fond of clever acronyms - doctors often use Chronic Recurrent Abdominal Pain (CRAP) in their documentation of this condition.
As an extra bonus, and like the entity that defines itself, the acronym also points to a frequent cause of the pain - as in lots of it and not going anywhere.
Some kids may find the restrooms at school unclean, uncomfortable, or not private enough, so they train their bowels to withhold stool until they get home.
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