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hemorrhoids and children

Hemorrhoid Care and Children

Hemorrhoid Care and Children follows similar remedies and treatments as those employed to address hemorrhoidal flare-ups for adults.  However, because in children hemorrhoids can be indicators of other disorders it is important for parents to first consult their pediatrician to rule out all other potential conditions.  For example, rectal bleeding is a common characteristic of internal hemorrhoids regardless of an individual’s age, but may also indicate the presence of other circumstances such as vascular anomalies of the small intestine or colon.  In the event a child is indeed suffering from hemorrhoids, it is important to understand in a general way what the condition is.  Hemorrhoids are veins in the walls of the anal canal that have become swollen and as a result of too much strain, breached the tissue of the anus.  Regardless the stage of life, there are different varieties of hemorrhoids, some internal, others external, which can produce symptoms that range from mild to severe, depending on their condition and the length of time they have existed.  In adults, hemorrhoids are fairly common, and it is estimated that by the age of fifty, fifty percent of the population will have at some point in their lives dealt with the condition.  While hemorrhoids in children are generally mild, they are also fairly uncommon, and should be attended to immediately.

Hemorrhoid Care and Children will often commence with similar symptoms as those reported by adults.  For example, blood in the stool or traces of blood left on toilet paper are typical indicators that hemorrhoids are present.  It is also common for children to report being unable to produce a bowel movement, or to report having a sense of fullness even after having made a bowel movement.  The most common cause of hemorrhoids in children is constipation or continual straining during bowel movements.

Hemorrhoid Care and Children, like care in adults, should address areas of diet.  Like adults, children with diets that are low in fiber will be more likely to develop a hemorrhoidal condition.  Fruits, vegetables, roughage, and the use of fiber products are important, as is the need for children to remain hydrated.  Additionally, warm baths, taken several times a day for ten to fifteen minutes, as well as the implementation of cool compresses can also generate relief of hemorrhoid symptoms.  However, unlike hemorrhoids in adults, in children the condition will frequently correct itself by virtue of the fact that the child’s body is still growing and changing.  Additionally, hygiene is important to be mindful of, and doctors will often instruct parents to ensure the area that is inflamed be kept dry and clean. Organic hemorrhoid treatment compounds such as Witch Hazel are also promoted for use in children because of the reduced risk of side-effects.

Hemorrhoid Care and Children who are suffering from more pronounced symptoms will nevertheless typically fore-go the surgical procedures that are used on adults in similar situations.  Even in the presence of a more severe scenario such as hemorrhoidal prolapse, in which the hemorrhoid has completely protruded from the anus, doctors will opt for other measures than a surgical procedure.  Less invasive fixative procedures such as Rubber Band Ligation are also typically avoided because of the complications that arise from the child’s still growing and maturing body.

Hemorrhoid Care and Children also suggests communication between a parent and their child.  This article in no way presumes to be an authority on parenting techniques, and every parent needs to make decisions with which they are comfortable in light of their own sensitivities and the feelings, age, and maturity of their child.  However, unlike hemorrhoidal conditions in adults, where the onus lays on the individual to seek out the necessary information and care required to resolve their situation, usually with children some kind of dialog is necessary.  Speaking to one’s child about their condition helps to both keep the child informed, and also allows them to participate in their own recovery.  This is more often than not helpful because resolving the issue commonly requires the child to address changes that need to be made to their lifestyle.  Finding a way to illuminate one’s child about proper bowel hygiene and dietary considerations, as well as issues regarding proper exercise, are areas that can be explored in whatever way the parent finds acceptable given their specific situation.  As a parent it is important one understands, for example, how integral correct bowel habits are to the long-term resolution of their child’s condition; helping to both alleviate symptoms and to prevent them from returning or occurring in the first place.  However, as stated before, whatever course one takes for their child they should be sure to first consult with a pediatrician or health care provider to determine that other conditions, possibly more serious conditions such as juvenile polyps, are not present.  In this way the concerned parent can make the best possible choice available to them to ensure proper attention has been made regarding hemorrhoid care for your children.

David Gilbert received his BA from U.C.L.A. He is currently doing graduate work in psychology at California Graduate Institute, in Los Angeles, CA. Throughout his career in the mental health field he has worked clinically with several populations, and also contributed to academic works whose topics address both health and mental health issues.

© Hemorrhoid Information Center 2009

 


[i]   from – http://symptoms.wrongdiagnosis.com/cosymptoms/palliative-care/rectal-bleeding-in-children.htm, 2009-07-29

 

[ii]   from – http://symptoms.wrongdiagnosis.com/cosymptoms/palliative-care/rectal-bleeding-in-children.htm, 2009-07-29.

[iii] Mumford, Todd, “Hemorrhoids in Children – Treatment and Prevention”, 2007.

[iv]  from – http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/understanding-hemorrhoids-basics, Understanding Hemorrhoids – the Basics, reviewed   by Levine, Norman, MD, 2009-07-29.

[v] from The Mayo Clinic, http://www.mayoclinic.org/rectal-prolapse/children.html, Rectal Prolapse, 2009-07-09.

[vi]   from – http://symptoms.wrongdiagnosis.com/cosymptoms/palliative-care/rectal-bleeding-in-children.htm, 2009-07-29

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