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Hiatal Hernia in Children
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A hiatal hernia is a condition that causes part of your child's stomach to bulge through the hiatus (small opening) in his diaphragm. This part of the stomach may move up and down, or it may get trapped above the diaphragm. Your child may have been born with a large hiatus or with the hiatal hernia.
Seek care immediately if:
- Your child has severe abdominal pain.
- Your child has severe chest pain and sudden trouble breathing.
- Your child's bowel movements are black or bloody.
- Your child's vomit looks like coffee grounds or has blood in it.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- Your child's symptoms are getting worse.
- Your child has nausea, and he is vomiting.
- Your child is losing weight.
- You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.
- Medicines may be given to relieve heartburn symptoms. These medicines help to decrease or block stomach acid.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
The following nutrition and lifestyle changes may be recommended to relieve symptoms of heartburn.
- Avoid giving your child foods that make his symptoms worse. These may include spicy foods, fruit juices, caffeine, chocolate, and mint.
- Give your child several small meals during the day. Small meals give his stomach less food to digest.
- Your child should not lie down or bend forward after he eats. Do not allow your child to eat meals 2 to 3 hours before bedtime. This will decrease his risk for reflux.
- Your child should be at a healthy weight. If your child is overweight, weight loss may help relieve his symptoms.
- Have your child sleep with his head elevated at least 6 inches. Ask your child's healthcare provider how to safely do this.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.