STOOLS, BLOOD IN
Blood-colored material mixed in with the stool,
on the surface or passed separately.
Blood in the stools is usually bright red.
Blood from bleeding in the stomach comes out tar-black.
See More Appropriate
Topic (instead of this one) If
WHEN TO CALL YOUR DOCTOR FOR STOOLS,
Call 911 Now (you may
need an ambulance) If:
Fainted or too weak to stand
Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If:
Your child looks or acts very sick
Large amount of blood, blood alone without any stool or the
toilet water turned red
Tarry or black-colored stool
- Blood with diarrhea
- Pink- or tea-colored urine
- Vomited blood
- Abdominal pain or crying
- Skin bruises not caused by an injury
- Age < 12 weeks
Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9am
and 4pm) If:
Blood in the stools, but none of the
symptoms described above (probably anal fissure) (NOTE: Try to save a sample
of the "blood" for testing if your child needs to be seen)
HOME CARE ADVICE FOR ANAL
FISSURE (Pending Talking with Your Doctor)
An anal fissure is the #1 cause of blood in stools
- The blood is bright red, but only a few streaks or flecks are present
- All the blood is on the surface of the stool or on the toilet tissue
- Usually follows passage of a large or hard bowel movement (BM)
- You may see a shallow tear at 6 or 12 o'clock on the anus
Fluids: Sip clear fluids only (e.g. water, flat soft drinks or ½
strength fruit juice) until the pain is gone for 2 hours. Then slowly
return to a regular diet.
Warm Saline Baths: Give warm saline baths for 20 minutes 3 times per
day to cleanse the area and to promote healing. Add 2 oz. of table salt or baking
soda to a tub of warm water.
Ointments: If the anus seems irritated, apply 1% hydrocortisone ointment
3 times per day to help healing.
High-Fiber Diet: For children more than 1 year old, offer a nonconstipating
diet. Increase fruits, vegetables and grains (fiber). Reduce milk products
to 3 servings per day. If CONSTIPATION is definitely the cause, see that topic.
Expected Course: Anal fissures usually heal up quickly with home treatment.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Bleeding increases in amount
- The bleeding recurs > 2 times after treatment begins.
- Your child becomes worse or develops any of the "Call Your Doctor"
Disclaimer: This information
is not intended be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is
provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility
for how you choose to use this information.
Pediatric HouseCalls Online. Copyright © 2000-2004
Barton Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
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