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Definition of «Colic»

Colic: An attack of crying and apparent abdominal pain in early infancy. This is a common condition, occurring in about 1 in every 10 babies. Colic is characterized by episodes of irritability, loud crying, and what appears to be abdominal pain with the legs drawn up and the abdomen feeling rigid.

An attack of colic usually begins suddenly, often after a feeding. The cry is loud and continuous. The spells last from one to four hours and the baby's face often gets flushed or red. The belly is sometimes distended or prominent; the legs alternate between flexed and extended straight out; the feet are often cold and the hands clenched. The episodes, while they can occur at any time of the day or night, typically begin in the late afternoon or early evening.

Overfeeding, undiluted juices, food allergies, and emotional stress can aggravate colic. Colic usually lasts from several weeks of age to 3 to 4 months of age. It is not harmful to the baby but is very consternating and wearing on parents.

Parents should not assume new abdominal pain and loud crying in their baby is colic. It is important for the baby to be seen by a doctor to rule out other more serious conditions.

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