Has your toddler developed a bulge or swelling around his navel? Does he complain of pain in the swollen area? If you said yes, you might want to get him to a doctor immediately. He might be suffering from a hernia. Read our post and learn all about hernia and how it affects people.
What Is A Hernia?
A hernia is a bulge resulting due to tissue or organ. The bulge develops due to a weakness in a particular area of your toddler’s body. The lower abdomen is typically the part that experiences the growth of a hernia.
Types Of Hernia In Toddlers:
Two common types of hernia that occur in toddlers are an umbilical hernia and inguinal hernia.
1. Umbilical Hernia:
An umbilical hernia is an opening in the abdominal wall’s muscle that lies around the navel. A small part of toddler’s intestine bulges through the opening when the toddler strains or cries.
[ Read: Appendicitis In Toddlers ]
2. Inguinal Hernia:
An inguinal hernia occurs when a part of toddler’s intestine bulges through the abdominal wall around or in the groin. One-fifth of every hundred kids suffers from the condition. (1)
Causes Of Hernia In Toddlers:
Causes of the two types of hernia vary, and they usually include:
1. Causes Of Umbilical Hernia:
Umbilical hernia occurs when a little muscle is remaining beneath the skin of toddler’s navel, and the area is quite weak. The pressure resulting due to a cry of your toddler tends to push a part of tissue or organ through the navel. (2)
2. Causes Of Inguinal Hernia:
An inguinal hernia is more prominent in male toddlers than female toddlers. The inguinal canal in a toddler is a duct leading testes into the scrotum. Usually, the inguinal canal closes soon after the birth. However, if the canal doesn’t close completely, then it tends to leave a hole through which a small part of the intestine can lead into scrotum or groin creating a bulge beneath the skin. (3)
[ Read: Causes Of Canker Sores In Toddlers ]
Symptoms Of Hernia In Toddlers:
1. Symptoms Of Umbilical Hernia:
- The development of a bulge or swelling around toddler’s navel.
- The bulge may vary from less than 1 cm to more than 5 cm.
- The presence of smooth mass which is not tender.
- The bulge or swelling grows bigger if the toddler cries, sneezes, coughs, or stiffens his abdominal muscles. (4)
2. Symptoms Of Inguinal Hernia:
- A soft bulge or swelling in the scrotum or groin area.
- Localized pain in the area affected by hernia.
- The bulge or swelling enlarges as your toddler cries or strains. (5)
Treating Hernia in Toddlers:
1. Treating Umbilical Hernia In Toddlers:
An umbilical hernia appears after the umbilical cord falls off and goes away before the toddler turns two years old without any treatment.
2. Treating Inguinal Hernia In Toddlers:
Inguinal hernias in toddlers require a surgery. Surgeon schedules surgery as soon as possible to prevent the risk of hampering the abdominal organs. Surgery requires general anesthesia. During the surgery, the toddler’s groin experiences a small incision. The surgeon identifies the hernia sac. Post surgery the surgeon closes the incision with dissolving stitches. Anesthesia effectively eliminates the pain during the toddler hernia surgery. (6)
[ Read: Alopecia Areata In Toddlers ]
Most toddlers who undergo surgery to cure hernia go home the same day once they recover in a short time span. Most toddlers return to normal activities without any restrictions within just a few days.
In cases of big inguinal hernia, the scrotum too may swell post surgery, and it may appear as the return of hernia. Don’t worry! The swelling is quite normal, and it will disappear in some weeks or months.
Did your toddler ever suffer from a hernia? What did you do to treat your toddler umbilical hernia? Share your story here.
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