Anal Fissure (Infant/Toddler) - Fairview Health Services
 
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Anal Fissure (Infant/Toddler)

The anal canal is the end portion of the intestinal tract. It includes the rectum and anus. Feces are passed through the anus. Sometimes a crack or tear develops in the lining of the anal canal. This condition is called an anal fissure.

An anal fissure may occur inside or outside the body. It may cause pain and bright red bleeding, especially during a bowel movement. Sometimes there is swelling, itching, and skin irritation. The area may spasm, causing more pain and skin separation.

Anal fissures are very common in infants. They usually heal on their own and require no special care other than keeping the area clean. Once the area has healed, the doctor may want to check the intestinal tract with a small, flexible tube (endoscope). In rare cases, a fissure does not heal on its own and minor surgery is needed to close the tear.

Home Care:

Medications: The doctor may prescribe a pain medication, stool softener, or laxative to make it easier for your child to have a bowel movement. Follow the doctor’s instructions for giving these medications to your child.

General Care:

  1. Feed your child fruit and vegetable baby foods to ensure smooth bowel movements. Encourage your child to drink lots of water. Young infants can receive fiber with drinks containing sorbitol such as apple, pear, or prune juice.

  2. Change your child’s diapers frequently to keep the area clean and dry. Wipe the anus gently with soft, moistened materials, such as a washcloth or wipes.

  3. If bowel movements are painful, it may help to have your child soak in a warm bath. This will help relax the muscles and soothe any pain.

  4. Keep a careful record of when your child has a bowel movement and the type of feces that were passed. This may help your doctor determine future care for your child.

  5. Check your child’s anus for bleeding or signs of infection (see below).

Follow Up

as advised by the doctor or our staff.

Special Notes To Parents:

Wash your hands well with soap and warm water before and after caring for the fissure to avoid causing infection.

Get Prompt Medical Attention

if any of the following occurs:

  • Fever greater than 100.4°F (38°C)

  • Signs of infection such as increased redness or swelling or foul-smelling drainage

  • Abnormal bowel patterns including constipation, hard stools, or explosive diarrhea

  • Rectal bleeding, pain, or itching

 

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