Recognising the symptoms of appendicitis
Children with stomach aches or cases of vomiting could be suffering from an inflammation of the vermiform appendix - or a so-called appendicitis. As opposed to gastro intestinal infections caused by viruses or bacteria, the stomach pain in appendicitis occurs before a fever develops, DPA reported.
In such cases, parents should absolutely bring their children to a paediatrician or young people's physician or take them to the emergency room, according to Ulrich Fegeler of the Professional Association of Children's and Young People's Physicians in Cologne.
"The pain usually begins in the middle of the stomach and moves then to the right lower side. But it can also prevail in the upper half of the stomach," said Fegeler.
"If the stomach is especially hard or seems bloated, this could be a sign of appendicitis." Nausea, vomiting, constipation or even diarrhoea, lasting flatulence as well as loss of appetite are other symptoms.
All told, appendicitis can become noticeable in many variations ranging from unspecific symptoms to classical pain in the right lower stomach. Appendicitis can occur in all age groups, most commonly in 11- to 20-year-olds. In small children, the appendix very rarely gets inflamed. The smaller the children the more unspecific the signs of the illness are.
"If untreated, this vermiform appendix can burst after two or three days, allowing bacteria and excrement to enter the stomach region and usually continue to swell as an abscess," said Fegeler.
"It could also develop into a life-threatening peritonitis."
To keep it from getting that far, children should be brought to a paediatrician or young people's physician in the case of lasting or increasing stomach pain.