Appendicitis is a medical condition wherein the appendix, which is a small structure located at the base of the ascending colon becomes inflamed and eventually ruptures. Although appendicitis can occur to anyone regardless of age, this condition is more common among children and adolescents younger than the age of 18. Most signs and symptoms of appendicitis among children usually vary from one case to another. Some kids are already experiencing appendicitis without even noticing any symptoms of the disease. This, however, is a bad thing because not being able to recognize any signs can lead to infection such as peritonitis, which can even cause death. So what are the distinct signs of appendicitis in children?
Diagnosing appendicitis is actually very difficult especially in children. Appendicitis is usually confused with other symptoms or diseases. In other words, most of the signs of appendicitis are similarly seen in other abdominal conditions. Adults could be a lot easier to treat since they are more capable of describing the specific type of pain and characteristics of the discomfort better than children. Most children do have a hard time in describing what they feel as well as the type of discomfort they are experiencing in relation to appendicitis. This is the reason why whenever children complain of pain in the lower abdomen, it is better if we seek the doctor’s check up immediately.
Small children or infants are very difficult to diagnose with appendicitis. In order for doctors to identify the said condition, doctors will need to rely on subjective cues or those clues or hints that can only be given through the explanation and description of the patient or person affected. Because of this, diagnosing appendicitis in children relies more on physical examinations, lab tests and observations. Infants suffering from this condition usually exhibit vomiting and fatigue. Toddlers may also show signs of low appetite and are unusually drowsy. Constipation in children as well as the presence of mucus in small stools can also indicative of appendicitis.
However, one of the first and most common symptoms is the presence of pain near the navel, which radiates towards the right portion or side of the abdomen. Rebound pain is also common, which occurs whenever there is sudden pressure removal on the right side of the abdomen. This can be done by pressing the middle portion of the abdomen and by pressing it, pain is suddenly felt which intensifies once the pressure is released. This sign signifies positive appendicitis. Some children may also suffer slight fever and may also show signs of nausea and vomiting. Children with appendicitis may also show frequent urination and uncontrolled bladder. Swelling of the abdomen is also indicative of appendicitis in children.
These are just some of the most common and important facts about appendicitis in children. As we can see, being able to identify specific symptoms and characteristics of a disease is very vital in order for doctors to diagnose a certain condition properly.