Could the Tummy Ache be Appendicitis?

As parents, when we hear the phrase “my tummy hurts,” we respond with the usual rapid fire questions: Where does it hurt? Is it gas? When was the last time you went number two?

Even with those questions that only a parent can ask, how do you know if your child’s stomach pain is not something more? At first, appendicitis might seem like a simple tummy ache. However, there are a few tell-tale symptoms that should raise concern.

Could the Tummy Ache be Appendicitis


Signs of appendicitis

The appendix is a small organ, about the size of your pinky finger, which is attached to the large intestine.

When the appendix becomes inflamed, that leads to infection and is referred to as appendicitis. It begins as a pain around the belly button and then shoots downward and to the right.

Signs of appendicitis

Among children and teens, the signs of appendicitis include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • High temperature
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Frequent urination


While it’s easy to brush off a tummy ache as something that will pass, it could be dangerous to wait this one out.  The appendix can burst within 24 to 72 hours of onset symptoms, so if your child is experiencing the above symptoms, it’s important to visit a physician to get a proper diagnosis – as surgery may be necessary. It’s important to note that children between the ages of 11 and 20 are most affected by appendicitis, and other factors include a family history of the condition.



Surgery is the most common way of treating appendicitis. But parents, don’t be alarmed, the surgery is routine and minimally invasive. Appendicitis is the most common reason for abdominal surgeries among children. Recovery is expected to only be a few days, so your kids will be back to enjoying their summer in no time.

When to seek medical help

If your little one is experiencing unusual stomach pains, be sure to visit the Kids Urgent Care nearest you. It’s never been easier to make a reservation online so that you can get the health help that your child needs.