6 Year Old Has Pain on Right Side

Updated on February 22, 2012
J.M. asks from Reno, NV
8 answers

I am worried about appendicitis but my husband had it when he was a kid and said the pain was more in the front of his belly, my son says it hurts like under the bottom of his right rib cage, he doesnt' really have any other symptoms. I don't have insurance so I don't want to have to take him to the hospital if it is not serious. I am thinking it could be a cramp or something, he says it hurts when he breathes in, but not too bad, does anybody have any idea what this could be?

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answers from Seattle on

I had one 2 years ago, and at first I just felt nauseous, then the pain became severe. I couldn't pick up my 4 week old son even :( it felt a lot like gas. In kids, they say one way to get a better idea is to have them jump up and down. Usually, with appendicitis, the pain will be severe to excrutiating. Sounds cruel, but I read it both in a parents magazine and at my peds office. Then you might have a better idea of what you are dealing with. Good luck!

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answers from Houston on

I don't know but at the very least you can call the nurses line at your family Dr or pediatrician.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

Could he have to poop? When did he last have a BM?

My husband once had stomach cramps, so I gave him cleansing tea and told him it would take a little while. He was doubled over in pain, so I took him to the ER and they ran tests for appendicitis. While waiting for the results, they hooked him up with an IV and had him ready to go into surgery if that is what it was. He was so ornery that once he fell asleep, the nurse walked in and I started to wake him and she snapped at me not to wake him. Eventually, in the middle of the night, the tea kicked in, he pooped, and they gladly released him.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Contact your doctor ASAP or consider taking him to an "urgent care center" if the pain is continuing now.

Don't believe what your husband and everyone says about "classic appendicitis pain" or the idea that "if it doesn't feel like THIS or it doesn't hurt exactly HERE, it's not appendicitis." My daughter had appendicitis with fairly minimal pain and for 24 hours she never had the intense, excruciating pain people think is the sign of appendicitis -- that pain only appeared less than one hour before her surgery to get the appendix out! She also vomited some, but only perhaps three times at the start, and not again after that. And her pain was generalized abdominal soreness, not stabbing pain. Some folks like your husband experience belly pain, others say the pain is entirely in their right side at the waist, so you just cannot go by anyone's experience of "typical" pain. Your son most likely does have just a pulled muscle but it is worth checking. If our pediatrician had not suspected something was up and sent us to the ER, our daughter would have had an emergency operation in a rush rather than a scheduled operation in calmer circumstances.

And by the way-- she was given an ultrasound AND an MRI and neither showed a swollen appendix! But the surgeon said he was 99 percent sure it was appendicitis despite the lack of a badly swollen appendix and he was right. Again, your son very likely does not have it, but the consequences if he does are potentially bad, so ask to have him checked, and especially if he also vomits or runs a fever or the pain goes on -- definitely bite the bullet to pay and find out.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

one classic symptom is the person will walk bent at the waist, also everyone has different symptoms. i never felt sick to my stomach or vomited and that is also a clasic symptom. check for a slight temp. Good luck I hope your little one gets better soon.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

When i had apendicitis the best way i could describe it to the docs was "a pain in the mouth of my stomach" I was pale, nauseaus and after about 8 hrs the pain moved from the mouth of my stomach to my lower right side right in front of my right hip bone. I know that gas pain believe it or not can be excrusiating to the point where you cannot take deep breaths b/c it hurts so bad, i had to call 911 about a month ago b/c of this, but it passed in about 7 mins. We also have our gall bladder there.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I concur if the pain is still there go to the emergency room. I had appendicitis at 17 and they did all kinds of tests and didn't think it was appendicitis. My pain was not severe, but it was constant. I was not nauseous. They finally decided to just go in and look and it turned out my appendicitis was in upside down and 3 times normal size. Just because it's not in that location doesn't mean it's not appendicitis.

Don't fool around with stomach pain. Better to find out it was nothing then not go to the doctor.

I hope he feels better soon!



answers from Los Angeles on

Appendicitis pain will most typically emanate from the lower right quandrant around the belly button, not the upper. The area you're describing is the upper right quadrant, which is where you'll find the liver. Pain in this area can stem from a number of things which can be as minor as referred intestinal pain from gas or a virus, a cramp (common in this region and generall occurs when carbon dioxide levels become slightly out of balance, usually because of exercise), a mild hepatitis (liver inflammation) which can arise from main types of insignificant or serious viral infections, something going on in the lower lobe of the right lung (a potentially long list here), a mild injury to the area, etc. In otherwords, there are a lot of differentials, and you need a qualified medical professional to sort them out -- not a bunch of untrained moms who can only offer anecdotal advice.

As always, the best place to go for medical advice is to a doctor. I understand the problems of not having insurance, but you can't ask for a diagnosis from a bunch on nonmedical professions, nor could you ask a medical professional for a diagnosis who is not given the opportunity to see your child first hand. (I swear, I'm starting to sound like a broken record on this matter!) Signs and symptoms that can help you assess the severity of your child's condition and decide if it's necessary to to see a doctor include the following (individually, not necessarily occuring together):
Your child's pain is increasing
He's vomiting or having diarrhea and losing lots of fluid over a short amount of time
He's become very lethargic
He's running a high fever (over 103 for a couple of days)
He seems to have entered an altered mental state
He's become nonresponsive
He begins to look jaundiced (yellow staining that will show up first in the whites of the eyes and oral mucosa of the gums, then spread to the skin).
If If any of these arise, take him to see a doctor immediately. If you don't want to wait, consider taking your son to an urgent care facility rather than the emergency room. The cost is usually a lot less, and you'll be seen in the order in which you registered, rather than triaged by serverity as you would be in the ER.

Also, check with the state of Nevada Health and Human Services. Some states offer no- or low-cost insurance for all children.

I hope your son feels better soon!

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