Abnormal swelling of veins located in the anus and rectum is termed as hemorrhoids. This painful medical condition is observed both in adults and children. Children with hemorrhoids should be given sufficient care immediately after diagnosing the problem. As in adults, hemorrhoids in children can be either internal or external hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids that develop within the anal canal are termed as internal hemorrhoids and those that develop close to the anus just beneath the skin are termed as external hemorrhoids. Before initiating the treatment process it is important to diagnose the type of hemorrhoid and identify the presence of other risk factors such as juvenile polyps causing symptoms similar to hemorrhoids.
Causes for hemorrhoids in children
- Constipation is the major cause for development of hemorrhoids in children. Constipation forces the child to strain at stools causing stretching of anal lining. Repeated straining causes swelling of the veins and aggravates formation of hemorrhoids.
- Sitting on hard surfaces such as wooden stools for long hours in schools.
- Liver diseases that increase blood pressure in portal veins.
- Postponing the urge to defecate as children do not wish to get distracted from playing.
- Intake of diet poor in fiber and nutrients.
- Lowered intake of water.
- Inheritance from parents.
Symptoms shown by children with hemorrhoids
Childhood hemorrhoids show symptoms similar to those observed in adults.
- Blood in stools.
- Feeling of fullness even after emptying the bowels.
- Inability to pass the stools.
- Discomfort due to itching and irritation of the skin due to mucous leaking from the anus.
Treating children with hemorrhoids
The growing body of the children supports faster relief compared to adults. Hemorrhoid treatment that aims at eliminating the cause gives successful results.
Simple home remedies often treat hemorrhoids in children eliminating the need for medications.
- Majority of children develop hemorrhoids due to intake of low fiber diet. Hence, increasing fiber intake gives relief in children. Feeding children with fiber rich foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain foods increases the bulk of stools and reduces straining at stools.
- Increasing water intake is another solution to treat hemorrhoids children. Intake of about 8-10 glasses of water softens the stools, eases the bowel movements and reduces pain.
- Keeping the anus region clean and dry is also very important to treat hemorrhoids in children. Consider using moist wipes to clean the area after bowel movements. If the child does not cooperate then use shower attachment to clean the area without wiping.
- Parents of hemorrhoids children are often directed to use hemorrhoid creams made of natural herbs such as Witch Hazel due to lowered risk of side effects.
- Giving warm sitz baths for about twenty minutes at a time thrice a day often relieves pain and inflammation.
- Use of ice packs relieves pain.
- Encourage the child to lead an active life by playing outdoors.
- Analgesics such as Ibuprofen can be used to deal with pain and inflammation.
In an attempt to treat constipation of your child do not give laxatives, caffeinated drinks and sodas as they cause severe dehydration aggravating the problem further. Do consult the physician before initiating the home remedies to know the exact cause of pain and bleeding.
If home remedies do not give satisfactory results or if the child suffers with prolapsed veins then surgery is performed. Non-surgical procedures such as rubber band ligation are not performed to treat hemorrhoids children due to risk of complications.
To reduce the risk of hemorrhoids in children, parents should observe the health of the child, encourage the child to take well balanced diet, sufficient fluids and play outdoors without sitting before video games for long hours.