Haemorrhoids form when the veins in the anus become swollen. They can cause itching, burning, bleeding and pain that make even the simplest tasks almost unbearable. Although they are usually not as severe in children as in adults, and typically clear up on their own, there are times when treatment is necessary to relieve the child of the discomfort associated with haemorrhoids.
Use baby wipes rather than dry toilet paper for wiping after a bowel movement. This will reduce excessive rubbing and harsh wiping in the anal region. Keep the anal area clean and dry as best possible. Avoid using soap when bathing the child and pat the anal area dry with a towel after bathing. Children should be encouraged to have a bowel movement as soon as they feel the urge, as resisting this urge can cause constipation, which will only further irritate the haemorrhoids. Additionally, try to limit the amount of time the child is seated on the toilet to less than five minutes to prevent unnecessary straining.
There are currently no over-the-counter haemorrhoid creams suitable for use in children. There are, however, several home treatment options that can be used to relieve the pain and discomfort associated with haemorrhoids in children and promote quicker healing.
Administer childrens or infant ibuprofen to help with pain and inflammation. Be sure to contact your doctor or pharmacist for the proper dosage for your child's age and weight. Have the child soak in a sitz bath for 20 to 30 minutes several times a day. You can purchase a sitz bath that fits right over the toilet seat from most chemists. If you would prefer, you can fill your bathtub with about 4 inches of warm water and have the child soak. Additionally, you can add oatmeal powder to the sitz bath to provide soothing relief. Cornstarch can be sprinkled over the anal region to control excessive itching. Apply ice wrapped in a towel to the affected area for about five minutes to provide relief from pain and discomfort. Petroleum jelly can be applied directly to the rectum to allow stools to pass easier and prevent irritation during a bowel movement. Keep your child active to improve blood circulation, strengthen the muscles and boost immunity.
A diet rich is fibre is extremely important in treating haemorrhoids in children and preventing them from forming in the first place. Haemorrhoids in children are often times the result of constipation, which causes hardened stools and straining during bowel movements. Fibre promotes regular bowel movements and reduces constipation. Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain cereals and breads, brown rice, whole grain pasta, nuts, seeds, beans and lentils are some examples of foods high in fibre. Avoid serving foods that promote constipation such as milk, cheese, ice cream, cakes, cookies and processed foods. The child should drink plenty of liquids throughout the day, preferably water or fruit juice. Do not give your child caffeinated drinks such as tea or soda as these have a diuretic in them, which pulls water from the body.