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Adults are quite aware of the condition of piles. Given the lifestyle that everyone leads these days, the situations have increased by quite a lot. However, you might be wondering, how can children get haemorrhoids at a young age? Are there toddler haemorrhoids too? Piles are not restricted only to adults as we might have thought earlier.
What are Hemorrhoids?
Called as piles in layman terms, having haemorrhoids is a condition that occurs when the veins around the anal region and inside the rectum are enlarged. Most patients with piles experience a lot of discomfort in the area, which also hurts and bleeds at times. It is not only embarrassing for someone but causes immense amounts of physical and mental distress.
Causes of Piles in Kids
Some of the common causes of piles in children are.
- Sitting on hard surfaces for extended periods of time can cause piles.
- If your child regularly sits on the pot for time periods that extend beyond 10 minutes, they are at a higher risk of getting piles. Long times on the pot lead to blood collection and stagnation in the pelvic area.
- Your kid spends a lot of time attempting to poop and tries hard. This causes pressure in the anus which aggravates piles.
- If your infant or child does not follow a good meal regimen, fails to adhere to a healthy diet, consumes less water and less fibrous fruits, this may result in constipation which will highly increase the chances of piles.
- In certain situations, intense and regular tantrums of your kid that follow up with a lot of crying can also result in piles. This is primarily because, in a space of intense stress and crying, blood rushes towards the pelvic area and increases pressure on the abdomen from within. This blood stays stagnated in the area of the rectum.
- If you or your spouse has a current case or a history of piles, there is a chance of your kid might have the same due to hereditary reasons. Such congenital piles are sometimes observed right in the first week of birth itself. These pile nodules poke out while passing stools or crying, which causes even more discomfort.
- If the colon is rather inflamed due to various reasons, that is also a relevant reason for piles.
- Formation of a tumour in the colon can result in stagnation of blood which results in piles.
- An infected large intestine can further aggravate the rectal area, leading to the formation of piles.
- If your child rarely engages in play and spends most of his time sitting around, this greatly increases the chances of formation of piles.
Symptoms of Hemorrhoids in Children
- Most well-known symptoms that reveal signs of haemorrhoids in children are rectal bleeding, itching in the anal area, a sense of discomfort, and piles poking out of the anus.
- Every time a child has bowel movements, he may observe bright red blood in the pot. This is a result of blood vessels in the anal area being ruptured. Such bleeding of the rectum could also be indicative of different problems and should be checked immediately by a paediatrician.
- The presence of piles results in the secretion of a mucus-like substance that keeps the anus and its area uncomfortably moist. This, combined with poop, causes a constant itching sensation that can very hard to avoid.
- Going to the bathroom and sitting for long periods of time generally becomes a painful activity. At times, children may avoid going to the bathroom altogether in order to not experience any pain.
- External piles make their presence by protruding out from the anus. This is a giveaway sign of a haemorrhoid and needs treatment.
How is Piles Diagnosed in Kids?
Doctors usually observe for signs of piles by observing the external area or by conducting an internal anal exam. Since internal piles are soft and cannot be instantly judged as haemorrhoids, a doctor may use a proctoscope or any other instrument that allows him to take a look inside the anus. In certain cases, a doctor may feel the need to carry out an extensive examination of the entire colon tract by a colonoscopy, if they feel the problem is more than just piles.
Remedies for Hemorrhoids in a Child
There are multiple piles in children treatment procedures that can be undertaken to relieve your child from its pain.
- Taking warm baths twice or thrice in a day helps bring a soothing sensation in the area. Make sure you keep the area dry and avoid using soap.
- When there is a lot of irritation and extreme inflammation in the area, making use of an ice pack or some cold compresses can bring some well-needed relief.
- Always make sure you clean your anus with water. In case you use toilet papers, try going for wet wipes instead, since dry toilet papers can irritate the anus and the piles.
- If the piles start getting too painful for your child, give them some painkillers such as acetaminophen. This can reduce pain as well as the soreness they feel.
- There are haemorrhoid creams available in the market. However, it is best to have a word with your doctor before any kind of usage on your child.
- If your child has a condition of constipation or spends a long time in the toilet attempting to poop, it’s best to tackle the main problem first. Make a change in his diet. Go for more fruits, vegetables and grain-based dishes. Reduce food items like sugar and flour that make it difficult to digest. Fibrous foods are always welcome and recommended.
- Lots and lots of water throughout the day at regular intervals. Even if your child says they just had water, make sure they are taking a little more than usual since that will keep the digestive system healthy and good. Keep a benchmark of 8-10 glasses of water through the day.
- Get your child outside. Let them play some sports or go jogging with you or simply take a walk every day. Good physical activity is a necessity.
- Most doctors will say that you should not hold your poop. And that is true. Make sure your child goes to the bathroom the minute they feel the need to poop. Keeping it in because they are watching their favourite cartoon or feel like going later only increases pressure in the anal area and further irritating the haemorrhoids.
Can You Prevent Piles?
The question “how to prevent piles in kids” has a very simple answer which consists of taking care of just a few things.
- Get a lot of exercise throughout the day.
- Eat good amounts of fibrous foods and fruits on a daily basis.
- Drink a lot of water and keep yourself hydrated at all times.
- Try sitting on the pot by squatting on it so as to ease the process of pooping.
- Don’t be stressed when heading to the bathroom. Be glad of the process of cleaning your system and let the bowel movement make you happy.
In a general overview, the chances of children and infants developing piles are a lot less than adults, since most adults have them as a result of their lifestyle choices. That being said, children are at risk and it’s best to keep them at bay with the right measures. In case your child does have the symptoms, it’s always best to get them checked with the doctor to rule out any further complications.
Also Read: Hematuria in Kids