Hemorrhoids is a condition in which the veins around the anal area get inflamed and swell. The inflammation can occur at either the anus or rectum, or both areas. The appearance of hemorrhoids is similar to varicose veins, especially if the hemorrhoids are external. Hemorrhoids can occur in anybody, whether infants or adults. Hemorrhoids in babies, especially infants, can be hard to notice because babies cannot tell you how they feel, unlike adults. As such, you should always be on the lookout as a parent to notice any changes in your child’s behavior and physically examining your baby while changing diapers. This will help to prevent the occurrence of hemorrhoids or treat present ones to avoid complications.
Types of Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are of three types: external, internal and thrombosed. External hemorrhoids are present at the opening of the anus, while internal hemorrhoids occur in the rectum. Thrombosed hemorrhoids are a progressed type of external hemorrhoids where pools of blood clot and form a thrombus. Hemorrhoids in babies are rare but can be of the external or internal type when present. Thrombosed hemorrhoids can occur in babies if you fail to manage the hemorrhoids properly.
Hemorrhoids in Babies
Parents should be keen on identifying hemorrhoid cases. Some of the ways hemorrhoids in babies show up include:
- The baby cries excessively while passing stool due to the pain associated with it.
- Visible traces of blood in the stool of the baby.
- Itching around the anal area.
- Swelling and redness around the baby’s anus.
- Excretion of mucus from the anus.
- Dry stools.
When symptoms become severe such as an increase in the amount of blood in the stool, it can lead to anemia. This is why you need to seek professional advice from a doctor when you notice the above symptoms. A doctor will diagnose your baby and provide you with a way to manage the condition.
Identifying the causes of hemorrhoids in babies is important to prevent the hemorrhoids from recurring. This is because treatment alone is not sufficient in the long-term management of the condition if you do not make some lifestyle changes as well, such as diet.
Most Common Causes
Some common causes of hemorrhoids in babies include:
- Sitting down on surfaces that are hard for extended periods. This usually occurs when your baby is playing with toys.
- A diet that is low in fiber.
- Prolonged diarrhea.
- Sitting on the toilet for long periods, which implies that your baby is straining with passing stool.
- Hereditary factors. Some genes are passed on in the family that makes your child susceptible and prone to hemorrhoids.
Although hemorrhoids in babies are rare, it should not stop you from making the necessary improvements to your baby’s life to prevent the hemorrhoids from occurring. Some changes you can make include:
1. Adequate hydration.
Make sure that your baby hydrates, either through breastmilk, if he or she is still breastfeeding, or through adequate water intake. Dehydration often results in constant constipation, thus hemorrhoids.
2. Proper diet.
A diet rich in fiber is vital in preventing constipation and, thereby, the prevention of hemorrhoids. Always include vegetables and fruits in your baby’s diet.
3. Proper potty training.
Train your baby not to strain too much while passing stool. This will put excessive pressure on the anal veins, making them swell. Also, train your baby to properly sit on the potty or toilet if they use the toilet. Inappropriate seating, such as squatting, can put a lot of pressure on the anal veins.
Treatment of Hemorrhoids in Babies
As a parent, you do not always need to rely on medications alone to treat your baby’s hemorrhoids. You can combine medicines that your doctor prescribes with some home remedies for a more effective treatment.
- Over-the-counter medications you can use include pain medications like acetaminophen syrup and anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen syrup.
- Incorporate plenty of fiber in your baby’s food using vegetables and fruits. Also, make sure that your child hydrates adequately. Every child should drink at least eight cups of water every day.
- Encourage your child to use the toilet only when he or she needs to poop.
- Involve your child in some physical exercises like jogging to help with bowel movement.
- Ensure that your child bathes using warm water to soothe the anal area. Additionally, avoid using soap during bathing.
- Transition to wet wipes instead of dry toilet paper for your child to wipe the anal area. Dry wipes can irritate the area further.