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Tummy Ache or Something More Serious?

By Jacob Mabille Published 09/4/2006 | Health

Children often complain of stomachaches. Its a common ailment and one that children may experience after eating too much or when feeling nervous about an upcoming event. But a stomachache can signal a more serious illness.

My nine-year-old son didnt like to go to school nor did he like to sit down and eat a home cooked meal. He preferred cookies and chocolate milk rather than eating his vegetables. He always used a stomachache or headache as a ruse to get out of going to school or eating dinner. But like the boy in the story he cried wolf once too often.

One evening around dinnertime he started to complain that his stomach hurt. Since we were having stuffed peppers for dinner I figured my sons sudden stomach pains to be timed perfectly. But when I realized he was fevered and the pain actually seemed genuine, I knew something was wrong. Shortly after arriving at the hospital emergency room we soon found that my son was diagnosed with appendicitis and would have to have emergency surgery. I felt so guilty for thinking that my child was just pretending to be sick.

Appendicitis is an inflamed appendix usually resulting from a bacterial infection. The appendix is a small organ that seems to have no function, although it must have served a purpose at one time. The pain that occurs with appendicitis may be dull or sharp. It usually begins around the area of the navel then moves to the lower right hand portion of the abdomen. It may be accompanied by fever, nausea, loss of appetite and the pain becomes worse with movement. As the appendix swells and fills with pus, the chance of rupture increases. If the appendix ruptures infection can spread quickly throughout the body.

Even if your child likes to fake sick to get out of eating dinner or going to school, dont take his complaints lightly. Luckily everything worked out well for my son. His appendix was removed; the surgery went well and he healed quickly. Not to mention my son felt that the soreness was worth it since he could enjoy having a vacation from school. But I also learned a valuable lesson too. No matter what games our children may like to play, we must always pay attention to their complaints because their health is no game. If your child complains of stomach pains, fever and doesnt feel like eating call your physician immediately. Its always best to be safe and know that your childs health is protected.

Jacob Mabille writes for Health Guides & Articles where you can find more health tips and related articles. You may republish this article only if you retain resource box and active hyperlinks.