Childhood is one of the most blissful phases in one's life, with no tensions and worries. But it is also a period when there are common occurrences of illness and disorders. Most of the children are affected by the diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, one of the main reasons being improper eating habits. One such common disorder is rectal bleeding. The rectum is the last part of the largest intestine whose function is to eliminate waste matter (or feces) out of the body. Sometimes due to some infections in the gastrointestinal tract or hardened stool, the rectum can get injured and bleed.
Rectal bleeding in infants and children can be diagnosed if tarry, black stools are noticed. This condition is known as melena and can be caused due to infections. Bleeding in the rectum may be mild but it can be a cause of concern since it may indicate something serious. Hence, it is advisable to consult a pediatrician, if you notice blood in your child's stools, to diagnose the exact reason why your child is passing blood along with the stool.
Causes of Rectal Bleeding in Children
Noticing blood in stool of children can be a harrowing time for parents who may want to know the exact reason, since it can be serious in nature. Given below are a few causes why some children may suffer from bleeding.
- One of the common reasons for observing rectal bleeding is constipation. Improper feeding habits, reduced water and fluid intake can cause constipation, where it is difficult to pass motion due to hardening of stool. This hardened stool can lead to inflammation and abrasions in the passageway, resulting in bleeding. This can be a painful condition, especially for very small children.
- Another reason for black bowel movement in children is due to the presence of infections in the gastrointestinal tract. Sometimes these infections can also cause painless bleeding. A few kids also show blood and mucus in stool as a symptom of an infection, which must be tested immediately.
- The presence of hemorrhoids can also be one of the reasons why you notice bloody stools. Rectal fissures and allergic reactions to formulas can be one of the causative factors for blood in baby's stool.
- Another causative factor, especially in children under two years of age, pass bloody stools is because of a condition called intussusception, which occurs when the intestine gets twisted by itself, resulting in intestinal obstruction and mild bleeding during bowel movement.
Treating Rectal Bleeding
There can be a number of reasons for noticing bloody stool of children. There are a few home remedies like making the child drink plenty of water and fluids for free bowel movement, application of ice packs to stop bleeding and reducing pain, and including fibrous foods in the diet. If the bleeding does not stop in spite of all these remedies, then you should consult a doctor who may prescribe creams for topical application in case of hemorrhoids. He may also prescribe certain medications and antibiotics to treat the infection. Stool softeners and laxatives may also help the child in easy and painless bowel movement.
Rectal bleeding in children is a condition that can affect a child of any age. Though it can go away after a period of time, it is advisable to consult a pediatrician to find out any underlying reason for this condition.