6 Symptoms of Appendicitis in Children

Does your child often complain of unbearable pain in his or her stomach? It could be, it is an early sign of appendicitis symptoms. Because this disease can attack anyone including children under 5 years to adulthood. Discover 6 Symptoms of Appendicitis in Children.


What is Appendicitis?

An appendix is a small organ attached to the colon on the lower right side of the abdominal cavity. Just like other organs, appendicitis can also be infected and have inflammation. This condition commonly occurs in children aged 5-16 years.


How common is this condition to occur in children?

Young children are more susceptible to appendicitis than adults. In young children, the most common cause of appendicitis is swollen lymphoid tissue and blocking the cavity of the appendix.

Worsening inflammation can put children’s appendixes at risk of rupture, resulting in serious infections.


What are the causes of Appendicitis in Children?

Similar to adults, the occurrence of appendicitis in children is often caused by blockages in the appendix. The intended blockage can be hard stools, mucus or intestinal fluid, swelling of the lymph nodes as well as parasitic infections of the intestines.

When clogged, bacteria can grow and multiply to make appendicitis inflamed as well as swell. Over time, the swollen appendix may rupture.

In addition to blockages, the disease is also caused by disruption of the bloodstream or twisting of the appendix.


6 Symptoms of Appendicitis in Children

Abdominal pain in the lower right

Lower right abdominal pain is the most common symptom of appendicitis in adults, but it can also be felt by young children. The lower right abdomen is the location of the appendix in humans. Therefore, beware if the child feels pain in the part.

The cause of this pain is due to the presence of lymph tissue or feces that harden so that it clogs the appendix cavity. The blockage then becomes land for bacteria to multiply and cause infection.


Swollen and bloated stomach

Although it is a characteristic of appendicitis symptoms, some children may not experience pain. They experience a swollen stomach, bloating, and feel tender when patted gently. Such symptoms are usually experienced by children aged 2 years and under.



Fever is the body’s natural response when attacked by infection and inflammation. Therefore, fever can also be a feature of appendicitis in children. Usually, the fever experienced by children due to appendicitis is not so high, however, accompanied by other symptoms such as chills and sweating a lot.


Loss of appetite accompanied by nausea and vomiting

Inflammation and infection of the appendix often cause the child not to eat. Sometimes, this is exacerbated by nausea and vomiting.

In appendicitis, vomiting is an automatic reflex of the body to forcibly empty the contents of the stomach so that the blockages that exist in it can be removed.


Diarrhea or constipation

Appendicitis infection in children can sometimes cause symptoms such as diarrhea. These symptoms tend to appear more often when the location of inflammation is near the pelvic cavity. So infection of the appendix also irritates the rectum.

This condition is what makes children can diarrhea when experiencing appendicitis. However, the amount of dirt wasted during diarrhea due to appendicitis is usually less than usual diarrhea.

The texture of the stool also tends to be soft (not liquid) with more frequent defecation frequencies. On the other hand, some children complain about the opposite symptoms, namely difficulty defecation and difficulty defecating.


Pain when urinating

Some children who have appendicitis may always complain of pain when urinating. So these symptoms are often mistaken for symptoms of urinary tract infection. Characteristic appendicitis in this child can appear when the location of inflammation of the appendix is close to the bladder.

An inflamed appendix can irritate the bladder causing symptoms such as bloody urine, or white urine such as milk. Some children even have difficulty urinating due to the pain.

The texture of the stool also tends to be soft (not liquid) with more frequent defecation frequencies. On the other hand, some children complain about the opposite symptoms, namely difficulty defecation and difficulty defecating.

Having a young child sometimes makes you as a parent feel overwhelmed, especially when she has a rash on the skin. Their reactions will probably continue to cry until it’s hard to stop. Find out more about Skin Rash Identification Chart: Symptoms In Children

6 Symptoms of Appendicitis in Children

What are the signs if the appendix in the child has ruptured?

The child usually has difficulty describing the symptoms of pain he feels. Therefore parents should be more sensitive to the complaints that the child is experiencing.

Here are the signs if the appendix in a child ruptures:


Right abdominal pain is getting worse

Symptoms of abdominal pain in the lower right will be more painful when the appendix has started to rupture. Even severe abdominal pain spreads throughout the stomach. Your child may notice symptoms that get worse when you press the abdomen on that part for a while.

They will say the pain feels worse when moving, taking deep breaths, or when coughing and sneezing. Infection and inflammation of the appendix can irritate the lining of the abdominal wall, known as the peritoneum. This will cause the child to feel pain when walking, standing, jumping, coughing, or even sneezing as the pressure in his stomach increases.


High fever

Fever is indeed one of the symptoms of appendicitis in children, but with a temperature of no more than 38 degrees Celsius. However, if the temperature soars drastically beyond that figure, it is most likely the hallmarks of a ruptured appendix in a child.


What happens if it does not immediately treat the symptoms of appendicitis in the child?

When appendicitis does not get proper treatment, bacteria and pus will accumulate in the intestines. This buildup will further suppress the appendix and cause the intestines to be swollen. Such swelling can eventually inhibit the supply of fresh blood to the appendix, resulting in tissues and surrounding cells dying.

The intestinal wall that has died will push bacteria and pus into the abdominal cavity. As a result, the contents of the ruptured appendix will leak and seep into the stomach. Rupture of the appendix is a medical emergency and can be life-threatening. Therefore, it should immediately get the treatment of a doctor.

Immediately take the child to the nearest hospital emergency room if he or she experiences symptoms that lead to a ruptured appendix.


How can I help my child understand what’s going on?

When the disease requires surgery, it may be difficult to explain the condition to your child. Since appendicitis often requires emergency surgery, you don’t always have much time to mentally prepare your child.

Here’s an approach you can take:

  • Explain to the child that they have a problem that needs to be resolved in the hospital. Avoid words that can cause fear in your child such as “cut you”. It’s important, to be honest with your child about care, but not until it raises extra fears.
  • Explain that the operation can fix the problem that occurred. Tell your child that treatment in that way will not feel pain during the procedure because they will fall asleep, but the doctor will wake them up. Otherwise, they will probably consider being “put to sleep” by similar treatment of dying pets.
  • Explain that you will be there for your child as soon as possible and that they will soon feel better.
  • If possible, give your child toys before and after surgery. Examples include reading a book or buying him a new toy.


How to overcome Appendicitis?

One way to overcome appendicitis is usually to require surgical removal. If the appendix in the child does not rupture, they will be given antibiotics and the appendix needs to be removed immediately.

However, if the appendix has ruptured, they will require removal and irrigation of the peritoneal cavity. This is a larger operation to ensure the bacteria present in the appendix do not move to other parts of the stomach that allow it to cause serious infections.

Children whose appendix has ruptured must stay in the hospital longer to receive IV antibiotics because the risk of infection is very high.

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