Due to the changed lifestyle of people, it is obvious that we tend to experience many health conditions. One such common condition in most of the adults today is hemorrhoids which is mainly caused due to increased pressure around the anus or because of unhealthy diet. This causes discomfort in the colon, eventually resulting in bulged veins around the anus.
These days, hemorrhoids has become an affliction even in children. This condition might create a panic in the parent’s mind, since most of us believe that it occurs in adults. But unless like the olden days, piles are not restricted only to adults. And since hemorrhoids can be treated, there is no need for the parents to panic.
All You Need to Know About Hemorrhoids in Kids
Hemorrhoids also known as piles are swollen veins around the anus or in the lower rectum. They can either be internal or external. Where internal hemorrhoids develop inside the anus or rectum, external hemorrhoids develop outside of the anus. External hemorrhoids are the most painful and troublesome, which cause severe pain and itching and make it difficult to sit.
Causes of Piles in Kids
From infants to older kids, hemorrhoids can occur at any stage due to several factors. In most cases, piles is caused due to increased pressure in the anal area. Apart from it, there are other causes of piles in children. They are,
- Sitting on hard surfaces for longer period.
- If the pot time of your child extends beyond 10 minutes, then it can lead to collection and stagnation of blood in the pelvic area, eventually increasing the risk of getting piles.
- If the child consumes less water, or less fibrous fruits. Having an unhealthy diet.
- Intense stress and crying. In these situations, blood rushes to the pelvic area and increases pressure on the abdomen from within. Blood gets stagnated due to pressure and causes bulging of the veins.
- If any of the parent has a previous or current case of piles, then the child might inherit it. The symptoms can be seen in the first week of birth.
- Formation of a tumor in the colon can result in blood stagnation followed by piles.
- An infected large intestine can also lead to formation of piles.
- If the child does not play much and spends most of the time sitting.
- Strain while making bowel movement.
Symptoms of Hemorrhoids in Kids
The innocent minds of kids cannot make out why they are going through certain conditions. If it is infants that suffer this problem then it is obvious that they cannot express it to you, and when it comes to kids between 1-4, they themselves might panic and even cry due to the pain. Therefore, it is important for the parents to keep a check on their little ones every now and then. If you notice the following symptoms in your child, take them to a physician immediately.
- streaks of bright red blood in the stool
- secretion of mucus from the anus
- hard or dry stools
- if the baby cries during a bowel movement
- piles protruding out from the anus
Sometimes children might even avoid going to the bathroom in order to avoid the pain. So if you notice any of these symptoms, then consult a physician or a pediatrician as soon as possible.
How is Piles Diagonised in Kids?
In the usual cases, the doctor can recognize the problem with symptoms, such as bloody stool or mucus release and protruding piles. The external signs are easy to observe, but in the internal cases, the doctor may use a proctoscopy or other instrument to look inside the anus. In severe conditions, where the doctor feels that it is more than piles that’s affecting the baby, then he might examine the entire colon tract by a colonoscopy.
Treating Hemorrhoids in Children
- Give warm baths
Giving warm baths twice or thrice a day will help to soothe the pain. Avoid using soap around the anal area and keep it dry after every bath.
- Apply cold compress
Giving cold compresses or an ice pack can relieve pain and reduce irritation and inflammation.
- Wipe with wet cloth – toilet paper or dry cloths can irritate hemorrhoids even more. So make use of wet cloths or wet wipes to clean the area.
- Pain medication
There are certain hemorrhoid medicines available in the market. Acetaminophen is a pain killer which reduces soreness and pain.
- Hemorrhoid cream
There are hemorrhoid creams available in the market for reducing inflammation and pain. Consult your doctor before using it, to know the right method of use.
- Make dietary changes
Foods like sugar and flour, processed foods are difficult to digest. Change the diet of your child, include more fruits, vegetables and whole-grains filled with fiber. 100 % pure apple, prune, or pear juice, pureed peas can be a healthy diet option for your kids.
- More liquids
Make your child to drink more water. At least eight glasses of water a day should be mandated. Avoid juices or soda since they contain more sugar.
- Increase exercise
Sitting in one spot for longer periods will create pressure on the anal area. Send them out to play. Their body needs proper movement. Motivate them and involve them to do some exercise.
- Go to the bathroom immediately
Whenever the child feels like pooping, they must go. Holding poop can be harmful and also make hemorrhoids severe.
- Use petroleum jelly
Lubricating the anal area with petroleum jelly can ease their pain during bowel movements.
- Movement of lower body
In infants who cannot go out to play or exercise, the parents can move the baby’s legs and arms gently to keep the body digestion active.
Can Piles be Prevented?
Though hemorrhoids can affect anyone regardless of the age, gender, or ethnicity, it is a rare condition in children and infants. But if you notice any of the symptoms of hemorrhoids, then do not delay and consult a doctor as soon as possible. Though some health conditions can not be stopped, they definitely can be prevented and avoided by taking some simple measures or precautions.
- Make sure to keep your baby/child hydrated,
- Include fibrous foods in their diet,
- Indulge them in regular exercises,
- Do not let them sit in a spot for longer periods.
These are some of the prevention and treatment methods for hemorrhoids. Nothing is more important for a parent than their child’s health. Hence, make sure to be vigilant and mindful of your child’s diet and exercise. This will help keep most of the diseases and illnesses away.