Finding blood in a toddler’s stool can be alarming to any parent or caregiver. However, bloody stool can usually be treated at home without any problems after consulting a pediatrician.
Bloody stool is often a sign of an underlying condition, such as an anal fissure. A pediatrician will likely diagnose the cause with a brief examination.
Common causes of blood in young children’s stools resolve on their own with home remedies. In some cases, blood and stool tests may also be needed to find the right treatment.
Read on to learn more about when to seek emergency medical help, the symptoms and types of bleeding, causes, tests, and treatments for bloody stool in young children.
A person should see an emergency doctor if their toddler has bloody stools and the following symptoms:
- does not stop crying or is not comforted
- has pain
- has a fever
- refuses to eat or drink
- is lethargic or weak
- Blood clots appear in the stool
- the stool has a tarry consistency
- the chairs are black
Bloody stools are not necessarily a sign of an emergency. However, parents or caregivers should see a doctor immediately if an infant is also clearly ill or not behaving normally.
Determining the cause of blood in a toddler’s stool can be difficult. People should have their children examined by a doctor to determine why their toddler has bloody stools.
A toddler’s bloody stool may be the result of a common condition such as anal fissures or constipation.
In rare cases, bloody stools can be a more serious problem with bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract.
An anal fissure is a tear or tear in the skin on the anus. Young children can develop anal fissures from large bowel movements or excessive diarrhea. Even hard wiping can lead to anal fissures.
If a toddler has an anal fissure, it can cause bleeding during bowel movements.
To help prevent anal fissures in young children, a caregiver may try the following: Tips:
- Adding more fiber and water to a child’s diet
- Wear loose clothing to keep the area dry
- Bathe children in warm water
- with wet wipes
- Avoid wiping hard, as this will reopen a healing fissure
Constipation is a regular occurrence in people of all ages, and young children are certainly no exception. children mostly Develop constipation due to stress during potty training or when they can delay bowel movements for long periods of time while playing with friends.
If constipation persists, a toddler can develop Constriction of manure. This is the case when the stool is too hard and dry to pass comfortably. Bleeding from anal fissures may also occur in young children with severe constipation when attempting to pass such stools.
At the other end of the stool spectrum, toddlers can also develop diarrhea. Toddlers who experience Chronic diarrhea may have bloody stools as a result.
Diarrhea can be a reaction to an unknown food allergy or a symptom of a condition such as inflammatory bowel disease. People who experience chronic diarrhea in their young children should see a doctor.
Blood in the stool can display Bleeding in the upper or lower GI digestive tract.
The upper digestive tract includes the stomach and small intestine. The lower digestive tract contains the colon, rectum, and anus.
Symptoms of upper or lower GI bleeding depend about the location and amount of bleeding.
Bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract
In children, upper gastrointestinal bleeding is a rare but potentially serious condition.
If a child experiences any of the following symptoms, parents or caregivers should see a doctor immediately:
- Vomiting with bright red blood
- Vomiting with dark stains of blood that look like “coffee grounds”
- black sticky stools
- stomach pain
- the child swallows blood due to an injury to the mouth or a nosebleed
- a viral, fungal, or bacterial infection
- Repeated vomiting can also lead to small bleeding tears in the lining of the lower esophagus
- a reaction to certain drugs, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- certain liver problems due to enlarged blood vessels in the esophagus or stomach
Bleeding in the lower gastrointestinal tract
Bleeding in lower GI tract rarely occurs in young children, suggesting an underlying health condition.
The following symptoms may occur in a child:
- Stool that contains blood clots
- bright red blood from the anus
- Bleeding may be streaks of blood or larger clots
If the bleeding starts higher up in the lower gastrointestinal tract, a child may have black sticky stools that sometimes look like tar and smell foul.
Other important symptoms to discuss with a doctor are the frequency of bowel movements, abdominal pain, fever, or weight loss.
Lower gastrointestinal bleeding can be caused by:
- a virus, parasite, bacterial, or fungal infection
- inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- Allergy to milk protein
- Irritation from anal fissures or hemorrhoids, often caused by constipation
- Growths on the lining of the intestines called polyps
- necrotizing enterocolitis, a common and serious bowel disease in premature babies that can be life-threatening if not treated immediately
- Vascular malformations, which are abnormal collections of blood vessels that usually appear before birth
In addition to blood, certain health problems with a lower GI can lead to mucus in a toddler’s stool. For example, toddlers who are allergic to cow’s milk stool can happen contains both blood and mucus.
However, a toddler might also eat something that stains their stool red. You can consume:
- Beverages or foods that contain red coloring
- certain drugs
- Crayons or other red objects
- certain berries
Only a doctor can determine the cause of a toddler’s red or bloody stools and determine if those stools indicate a health concern.
A parent or caregiver should see a pediatrician if an infant has bloody stools.
While many cases of bloody stool in young children are not a cause for concern, it is always advisable to seek medical advice.
If a toddler also exhibits sudden changes in mood or behavior, a person should consider going to an emergency room or emergency room.
Health professionals can diagnose conditions such as anal fissures and constipation after a routine visual exam. You can also ask for a stool sample to test for parasites, bacteria, fungi, and viruses.
These routine procedures are sufficient in many cases to make a formal diagnosis.
For more serious conditions, a doctor may order the following tests:
These tests can give doctors a clearer picture of what is causing a toddler’s bloody stool.
Most treatments for bloody bowel movements in young children are routine and straightforward. For example, anal fissures are typically treated with diet changes or topical ointments.
doctors usually suggest with wet wipes or medical wipes. These are softer on the skin and can prevent fissures from getting worse and aid the healing process.
A doctor will also recommend increasing your water and fiber intake. This can help a toddler produce softer stools that are easier to pass through.
If there is lower gastrointestinal bleeding, young children may need additional medical assistance. Young children who are allergic to milk protein should avoid foods or formulas that contain cow’s milk. However, a caregiver should not make drastic dietary changes without first consulting a pediatrician.
In some cases, bloody stool can be a signal for more serious conditions, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Treatment for these conditions may include anti-inflammatory drugs as well as antibody therapy.
Sometimes young children can have bloody stools, but this is usually not a cause for concern. Common conditions like constipation and diarrhea often resolve with time and home care.
Some cases of bloody stools in young children may indicate a more serious condition. A person should take a toddler to a doctor if he or she shows any other worrying signs and symptoms.
Regular consultations with a pediatrician can help parents and caregivers support their toddler’s health through bloody bowel movements.