Anal Fissure, Child

An anal fissure is a small tear or crack in the skin around the anus. Bleeding from a fissure usually stops on its own within a few minutes but will often reoccur with each bowel movement until the crack heals. It is a common occurrence in children.

CAUSES

Most of the time, anal fissure is caused by passing a large or hard stool.

SYMPTOMS

Your child may have painful bowel movements. Small amounts of blood will often be seen coating the outside of the stool, on toilet paper, or in the toilet after a bowel movement. The blood is not mixed with the stool.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

The most important part of treatment is avoiding constipation. Encourage increased fluids (not milk or other dairy products). Encourage eating vegetables, beans, and bran cereals. Fruit and juices from prunes, pears, and apricots can help in keeping the stool soft.

You may use a lubricating jelly to keep the anal area lubricated and to assist with the passage of stools. Avoid using a rectal thermometer or suppositories until the fissure is healed. Bathing in warm water can speed healing. Do not use soap on the irritated area. Your child's caregiver may prescribe a stool softener if your child's stool is often hard.

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • The fissure is not completely healed within 3 days.

  • There is further bleeding.

  • Your child has a fever.

  • Your child is having diarrhea mixed with blood.

  • Your child has other signs of bleeding or bruising.

  • Your child is having pain.

  • The problem is getting worse rather than better.