An inflammation of the appendix.


  • A dull pain in the lower abdomen that is made worse by slight pressure, deep breathing or movement.
  • Nausea and sometimes vomiting.
  • Fever
  • Constipation or diarrhoea.
  • A child with appendicitis often lies still. 


If the pain is severe or continues for more than three hours, go to the doctor or hospital immediately as a burst appendix is very serious.


  • Don't give your child a painkiller because it makes diagnoses difficult.
  • Don't let her eat or drink anything in case she needs an operation. 
  • If appendicitis is diagnosed, your child will be admitted to hospital to have the appendix removed immediately.

Infection of the appendix causes inflammation, which results in pain, classically in the right lower part of the stomach. There is usually loss of appetite, nausea, sometimes vomiting and fever accompanying the pain. It is unusual in children below the age of two, and is most common in the teens and early twenties. 

What to do

The sooner appendicitis is diagnosed, the better. Offer a hot water bottle to relieve symptoms, while you get the child to the doctor. It’s best not to give painkillers so that the doctor gets an accurate idea of the problem.

For more detailed info on Common Childhood Conditions, go to Health24.

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