|The appendix is a small structure that is attached to the large intestine and serves an unknown purpose. It can easily become inflamed, usually after a piece of stool or food is trapped inside. Once inflamed, the appendix will swell, become infected and cause pain.
Appendicitis is most common in children over six year of age. Symptoms usually begin with pain that is centered around the belly button. The pain then moves and becomes right sided pain in the lower abdomen and becomes worse. Vomiting usually begins a few hours after the pain. This is an important way to tell the difference between a typical stomach virus, which usually causes vomiting and then pain. Other symptoms can include a low grade fever, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain that is worse after your child moves his leg or tries to walk.
If your doctor suspects that your child has an appy then he will consult a surgeon for treatment, who will most likely remove the inflamed appendix. If it isn't clear whether your child has appendicitis or not, then a sonogram or CT scan may be done to look at the appendix.
The appendix serves no known purpose and your child will live normally once it is removed.