Hemorrhoids Among Children: Signs, Causes and Treatment

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.

Symptoms of Hemorrhoids in Children

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.

What Causes Hemorrhoids in Children?

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:

  • Sitting for more than 10 minutes on the pot which impairs the blood supply to the pelvic area
  • Long and strong pot attempts
  • Frequent constipation due to various reasons, but mostly due to a diet poor in fibers with insufficient fruits and vegetables, taking less water than recommended daily or not having a balanced diet or regular daily meals
  • Heredity seeming to play an important role in the development of hemorrhoids in kuds. If one parent has problems with hemorrhoids, there is a great possibility that the child will help problems with hemorrhoids as well or it will develop it later during life. Congenital hemorrhoids are also possible.
  • Inflammatory processes of the colon
  • Colon tumors
  • Long crying of the child and frequent tantrums
  • Large intestine infections
  • Sedentary life and reduced physical activity of the child

Treatment for Hemorrhoids in Your Child

Conservative Treatment

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:

  • Ginkor procto
  • Ultra
  • Relief
  • Suppositories with sea buckthorn oil
  • Gepatrombin G

Surgical Treatment

Surgical treatment of hemorrhoids in kids is not usually recommended. However, sometimes and especially in cases of congenital hemorrhoids, such a treatment is necessary.

Home Treatment

Certain tips and home remedies can help treat child hemorrhoids:

  • Baby creams such as those containing vitamin A, vitamin E, panthenol or cocoa butter will help relieve the itchiness, swelling and these creams can even reduce the bleeding sites when applied regularly.
  • Steam baths with chamomiles are another home treatment for hemorrhoids. Chamomile should be poured in about 500 ml of hot water, letting it sit for about 5 minutes. The child’s naked booty should be placed over the basin, covered with a blanket. Steam bath with chamomiles should be repeated one or twice a day, not longer than a couple of minutes.
  • Sitz baths with herbs such as calendula, succession or oak bark will help relieve the pain and discomfort associated with hemorrhoids.
  • Vishnevsky ointment is recommended for external hemorrhoids. This ointment created a fatty film irritating the nerve endings, warming the area, increasing the blood flow to the anal and rectal area, helping regenerate the area faster.
  • Microclysters with sea buckthorn or rosehip oil are recommended only in cases when your child is not allergic to these drugs. Depending on the age of your child, about 30 to 100 ml of oil should be heated to 37 or 40 degrees Celsius. Using a small rubber bulb with a soft tip, this oil should be applied to the anus. Your child must lie for at least 10 minutes.
  • Ice packs can help relieve the pain and discomfort in the anal area.
  • Increased water intake of at least 8 to 10 glasses of water a day will help soften the stool, making bowel movements less painful.
  • Increase fiber intake in the diet as in most cases hemorrhoids develop due to low fiber intake. Foods that are rich in fibers, especially fruits and vegetables, whole grains should be part of your children’s daily diet.
  • Proper personal hygiene of the anal area and keeping this area clean and dry can help deal with anal itchiness which is associated with hemorrhoids in children.
  • Encourage your child to play outdoors as physical activity is very important when dealing with hemorrhoids.
  • Ibuprofen as an analgesic can help relieve the pain, discomfort, and inflammation due to hemorrhoids in kids.