Hernia is a common medical condition that can occur in many parts of the body. However, it is most commonly found in the abdominal region, particularly in children. A hernia is caused when the body experiences an abnormality in a particular region, causing the tissue to bulge out of its normal position.
There are various types of hernias that can occur in children, but Inguinal and Umbilical hernias are the two most common types. In this blog post, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment options of these two types of hernias, along with essential details that every parent must know about them.
1. Inguinal Hernia
Inguinal hernias occur when the tissue bulges through a weakened area in the lower abdomen. This type of hernia is more common in boys than in girls, and it usually affects premature babies. Inguinal hernias can be congenital, meaning the defect is present at birth, or they can occur later in life.
Describe the symptoms of inguinal hernia in children in point form:
- Pain and swelling in the abdominal area
- An oblong or bulging lump in the groin area
- A feeling of heaviness in the abdomen
- Tenderness when pressing on or moving the hernia
- Feeling nauseous or vomiting
- Difficulty urinating or defecating
Treatment for inguinal hernias usually involves surgery to repair the weakened area in the abdominal wall. However, sometimes, the hernia can go away on its own, so doctors may wait to observe the condition before deciding whether surgery is necessary.
2. Umbilical Hernia
Umbilical hernias occur when there is a protrusion of tissue through the abdominal wall around the navel. This type of hernia is more common in newborns, premature babies, but it can occur in adults as well.
Symptoms of umbilical hernia include:
- a soft bulge or swelling in the navel region, especially when the baby cries or strains
- a visible bulge through the skin surrounding the navel
Treatment for umbilical hernias usually includes observation, and the condition may go away on its own as the baby grows. However, if the hernia does not disappear on its own, surgery may be required to repair the hernia.
How to Prevent Hernias in Children?
There are some preventive measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of hernias in children, such as:
- Provide good nutrition and balanced diet for your child.
- Encourage your child to do regular physical activity.
- Discourage smoking during pregnancy.
- Make sure your child wears supportive clothing when playing or participating in sports
- Make sure your child avoids straining during bowel movements, such as constipation or diarrhea
- Check for hernias regularly during growth and development checkups with the doctor
- Ensure that babies are held in the correct posture while feeding
- Encouraged to move and crawl as soon as possible, as this increases muscular strength and helps decrease the risk of hernias
While inguinal and umbilical hernias are common types of hernias that can occur in children, with proper treatment and preventive measures, they can be easily managed. Early detection is key, and it is essential to consult a doctor immediately if your child is experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above.
It is also crucial to remember that every child is unique, and these symptoms may differ from one child to another. Therefore, it is recommended to consult a hernia specialist if you notice any abnormality in your child’s body. By staying informed and taking necessary precautions, we can ensure that our children maintain optimal health and well-being.