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Children's Health

Blood in bowels of 4 year old

04/07/2009

Question:

My son is 4 years old and for the past two years he has had problems with constipation. He also has frequently had blood in his bowels. It is usually bright dark red and usually enough to turn the water pink. He has an exam checking for cancer and it turned out negative. He is on miralax permanetly. The only problem is that we get it cleared up and as soon as we think we are done with it, it happens again. We have been dealing with this for two years. We did not force him to potty train due to this condition. He is totally potty trained now but my question is why does he still have blood in his bowel mmovements and what do I need to do about it. THe doctors here really dont have an answer for me and just tell me good luck. I am tried of seeing my son strain to go the bathroom. Any suggestions will be welcome. Oh yeah, he gets plenty of fiber. He would rather eat vegatables like greens and salads than candy.

Answer:

It sounds as if his issue with constipation is resulting in what is called a fissure or tear near his rectum which bleeds.  The solution is softer more frequent stools.  For that I would discuss the possibility of regular stool softeners or other suggestions.

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Response by:

Michael Spigarelli, MD, PhD
Formerly, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati