A hernia is a hole or weak spot in muscles. Sometimes organs in your belly, most likely part of the intestines, push through this spot.
The inguinal area is the skin crease between the top of the leg and the belly. The muscles in this area are sometimes weak and have an opening that lets your child’s intestine bulge out.
Inguinal hernias usually cause a soft bulge. The bulge may be there all the time or only during coughing or straining when passing stool. Sometimes, there's no bulge but the doctor can feel a hole in the muscle.
Sometimes part of the intestine becomes trapped in the scrotum, and the bulge becomes firm, tender, and red. The intestine's blood supply may shut off (a condition called strangulation), which is very painful and dangerous.
Go to the hospital right away if you think your child has a trapped inguinal hernia.