According to the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, millions of Americans suffer from hemorrhoids. Even though hemorrhoids affect people usually over the age of 30 years old, some children may develop hemorrhoids as well. Hemorrhoids are enlarged and bulging blood vessels of the lower rectum and anus. They can be either internal or external. Bleeding during a bowel movement, painful bowel movement, itchiness, and sensitive to the anal area are common signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids in kids require proper medical attention.
Various causes can lead to the development of hemorrhoids such as constipation, diarrhea, infections, etc. Common signs and symptoms of child hemorrhoids include general discomfort, anal itching, bleeding from the rectum during a bowel movement and even external anal protrusion.
The most common symptom of hemorrhoids is the bleeding from the rectum which is often a bright red blood during a bowel movement. The bleeding results from a rupture of the blood vessels around the anal canal. In certain cases, rectal bleeding could be a sign of a serious medical condition and for this reason, a proper medical evaluation is necessary.
Anal itchiness is another common problem associated with hemorrhoids in kids. Hemorrhoids often secrete mucus which makes the anal area and the surrounding tissue moisture. This excessive mucus, when combined with stool, creates a chronic itchiness.
Pain and discomfort are another common problems associated with hemorrhoids in children. Children often start crying or become irritated and even try to avoid going to the bathroom due to this pain and discomfort which accompanies bowel movements.
External hemorrhoids are also possible in children and in such cases; a large lumpy mass is visualized near the opening of the anus. External hemorrhoids need proper treatment just like internal hemorrhoids.
When to Seek Medical Help?
If you have noticed a presence of blood coming from the rectum during a bowel movement, then you should take your child to a doctor in order to evaluate the situation. Hemorrhoids might be the problem behind the signs and symptoms that you have noticed in your child, but other more serious problems might be causing these signs and symptoms as well such as colitis, Crohn’s disease, colon polyps, diverticulitis, or colon cancer.
There are various factors that can lead to the development of hemorrhoids. These factors can act alone or together as a complex. The most common causes of child hemorrhoids are:
Ointments and suppositories are part of the conservative treatment of child hemorrhoids. However, there are no specific ointment and suppositories produced for children. Instead, doctors recommend the same products as adults use, only calculating the necessary dosage based on the age and weight of the child. Not all the ointment and suppositories available on the market today can be used by children. Suppositories that can be used in children are:
Surgical treatment of hemorrhoids in kids is not usually recommended. However, sometimes and especially in cases of congenital hemorrhoids, such a treatment is necessary.
Certain tips and home remedies can help treat child hemorrhoids: