26 answers

Anyone Had a Child with an Anal Fissure?

My 3 year old daughter has an anal fissure due to hard/large stools. The doc put her on Miralax and it's helped her stool be soft, but she still bleeds at times. I took her to a pediatric gi doc and he suggested strong laxatives to clean her out. I am nervous to do this but I will. Does anyone have a child with a fissure that took a while to heal? The whole thing has me very worried.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you to all the wonderful mamas out there who were kind enough to take time to write me. This group is an incredible resource! I feel more relaxed about the whole thing now and have some great ideas to try! I bought prunes today which I finally coaxed her to try and she liked them. I am going to buy some flax oil to put in her juice. I'd already started her on probiotics and had been searching for fibrous foods she likes (not just cheese!). It really helps to know these things can take time to heal!

Featured Answers

Dear L., My name is A. Bofinger.I have a child with cerebral palsy he suffered similar problem for years. I've met some people they helped us,now I'm helping others.Best way to rech me on my phone ###-###-####.There is a chance to talk to parents who allredy been helped, best way to learn.

I am a child care worker. I have had many children in my care that have had this problem. A few of my parents resorted to putting mineral oil with liquids. Not much, just a half tablespoon or so in a sippy cup. The bowels came out easier without having to use anything as harsh as a laxative.

More Answers

Hi L.,

My 17 month old son has two anal fisure and they take a long time to heal. His doctor told me to give him as much fiber as possible and to limit dairy to make his stools super soft. I do notice a difference in his stools and he cries less when pooping but they still aren't healed. Apparently it just takes time. She also suggested putting vasaline on his anus to help heal and make it even easier for the poop to come out. I put it on with every diaper change. Good luck!

J. W.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi L., I read through your responses and you definitely got some great advice. My son struggled with constipation for 4 years - I tried EVERYTHING. I had the most success by far with Flax seed oil. I snuck it into everything. My favorite way to use it is in peanut butter - which is otherwise binding. Buy the natural kind, pour the oil off and replace it with flax oil. Then use only fruit sweetened jam and knarly whole grain bread when making a p&j. My son loved p&celery. Buy it at Whole Foods so you get a good brand like Barlens or Spectrum - with lignins is best. Keep cold! I also buy the "Golden" Flax seed (tastes better) and grind it in a coffee grinder fresh each morning to add to oatmeal (steel cut or multigrain) and smoothies and yogurt.
The second thing that helped were the probiotics (again, Whole Foods)
After that, exercise and water~! Oh yeh, a cute "potty" book helps too :)
Let me just say, you will get through this - there was a time I thought I may need to be committed, UGH, such a day to day emotional thing.
OH, as far as the fissure - my son had 4, 2 of which were caused when the Dr. did a colo-rectal biopsy :( I found a Tea Tree cream online (from Australia I believe) that finally worked wonders.
P.S. No amount of prune juice, fruit or veggies ever helped. Miralax did help but I loved dicovering flax - it gave me back my sanity~!
Feel free to write and vent, I know how trying the whole scene is.
Best of luck ~
By the way - I found bananas to be fine as long as they were very ripe.

I don't know about an anal fissure but I myself have battled constipation over the years and my daughter has a lot of food allergies so I do know of some more natural approaches to laxatives. First, it would be a good idea to add probiotics to your child's diet. This will balance out the bacteria in her intestines. You can find them at health food stores. I know Whole Foods has some for kids. They're also found in yogurt and keifer. You can also add 1/4 tsp of flaxseed meal (refrigerate after purchasing) to her diet. It can be given right off of a spoon or mixed with yogurt, applesauce, oatmeal etc. This will add fiber as well a lignens and Omega-3 fatty acids. You can also do an equal mix of bran, prune juice and applesauce and serve that daily. The problem with mainstream laxatives is that the body becomes too dependent on them and after a while can not regulate without them. In time, they can also cause constipation. Bananas and sweet potatoes can be constipating so if she is a lover of either those, you may want to make sure she's not eating them daily. Good luck. I hope some of this helps.

Hi L.,

So sorry about your little girl's fissure. Witch Hazel is known to offer topical relief for the pain & works wonderfully to reduce inflammation. It's also great as a compress after childbirth! You can pick it up at any grocery store, usually by the pharmacy & it's around $1. Just saturate a cotton ball or cloth & pat/wipe softly. It's cold, but feels good when applied to a sore, inflamed area.

you're probably looking at her diet to see if there are constipation triggers, but keep in mind that it's VERY common at this age for kids to hold their poop & she might not even have allergies. Toddlers become very aware of their bodies & are trying to figure out how things work. There are side effects to all medication, even Miralax. Some very effective things that are healthful, can be used daily without side effects & can also be used in conjunction with medications if needed, are probiotics & also Omega fatty acids.

I swear by these & they are staples with us & our children. The yogurts with the live strains in them are okay as well, but contain alot of sugar & when you're having constipation issues sugar makes it worse. So does the dairy. A very reputable children's brand is Nature's Plus "Acidophikidz". It's a chewable tablet that my kids love & they're pretty picky.

Spectrum Essentials "children's DHA Omega 3 for Brain & Vision Development" is an excellent way to keep you child's intestinal tract healthy & moving things right along, even though it's labeled to promote vision/brain devel. This product contains 500mg Flax Seed Oil,which is hard to get down otherwise due to the taste & why I love this children's version. They are tiny little chewable gel caps that are naturally flavored with strawberry/banana & contain no sugar. Flax Seed Oil offers a ton of healthful benefits & is something you can use as a daily supplement.

And the most important thing is to of course trust your instinct. Testing can be very invasive & many dr's are quick to write a Rx & order a test to rule out the worst, but make sure you're comfortable with whatever course you take. We've been through quite a lot with both our daughters & the medical system. Every time I trust the dr's over my own judgement, I regret it.

Good luck!

This has come up a couple of times with my son's and the best thing is to encourage more fiber. I like Raisin Bran Crunch cereal as it is sweet and stays crunchy in milk but has a lot of fiber and helps a lot. It has 4g of fiber per serving. If she doesn't do cereal something else with lots of fiber might work. We put A&D ointment on it to keep it moist and it works well. We never used a stool softener or laxatives. Good luck!

Yes, my older daughter had very hard stools around that age and would bleed. It was so awful! The Miralax helped, and instead of using a prescription laxative, our doctor prescribed mineral oil. We would give her about 2 tablespoons by mouth a few times a day until she had runny poop. Then just Miralax in all her drinks after that. Also we took her off of regular milk, since that turned out to be the reason she was so backed up in the first place. At this point we give her soy milk or raw cow's milk, and that has kept the problem from recurring for us. Good luck; this is such a miserable thing to watch your child go through. It does take a while to get past it at first but she (and you) will get through it!

Hi L.:

My name is N. S. and I have a 21 month old grandaughter who was suffering from the same thing. She had stomach problems since she was an infant. Her pediatrician also put her on Miralax and that helped as long as we kept her on it. Since we did not want to keep her on stool softeners we would stop and then the problem would re-emerge.

We began to give her a teaspoon of mineral oil daily instead of the Miralax and also started her on prune and apple juices everyday. Although her stools are still large, she is not bleeding like before because they are soft enough to pass through and the mineral oil keeps the lubrication.

We give her crackers to make her thirsty and then give her a sippy cup with water and ice cubes which she loves. The bottom line is keeping the child hydrated all the time, which can be a challenge, but using juice, water and fruits that help in digestion will surely help.

The doctor also recommended putting a small dab of preperation H on the hemmoroid to keep the swelling down.

Good Luck.

Hi L., I am at the other end of the age spectrum. With a problem with constipation. This is what I do: eat plenty of dark green vegetables (broccoli works best) and I have been using Activia Yogurt made by Dannon, which contains"Bifudus regularis." Basically good bacteria. I am not a doctor, you might ask your doctor about this, but you might consider trying the yogurt. The decision is yours.
C. Peet

I had to look up Anal Fissure to be sure......
but as far as the constipation goes, she can use natural remedies. I would definitely try that before resorting to harsh laxative perscribed by a doctor! Ouch, poor baby!

Okay, so she is 3. I know they make prune juice from Gerber, I would probably try that first. Help her get loose and regular that way. At 3 she probably can also eat those dried prunes. I know I get super constipated during my pregnancies and I eat 3 - 4 prunes a day to help with that. My youngest LOVES prunes and enjoys them with me at lunch. She is 5 now but has been eating them since she was 2-3. I gave her 2 a day (but she would eat more if allowed, she really loved them) They have new flavors too, cherry and orange and I think lemon.

Sometimes apple juice, and grape juice is also used to help with constipation but it can have the opposite effect so becareful.

oh, another thing........... She might have a lactose intolerance. So you can try cutting back on the milk in take and that might help.

Dear L., My name is A. Bofinger.I have a child with cerebral palsy he suffered similar problem for years. I've met some people they helped us,now I'm helping others.Best way to rech me on my phone ###-###-####.There is a chance to talk to parents who allredy been helped, best way to learn.

I would make sure your children are getting enough fruits and veggies in their diet. Stay away from processed foods too. Try Juice Plus for your family. It's awesome and backed by research. It's 17 fruits and veggies in a gummy. It will definitely help! Call me if you are interested - ###-###-#### or google it. Good luck. A.

I would also add some Omega 3's - avocado or a supplement?

I had a little boy that had an anal fissure when he was very young. He was less than a year old and I notice the blood in his stool. When I took him to the doctor they were able to point out that the blood was streaked on the stool not in the stool. That was the first step in helping me relax about this painful small tear.
To remedy the situation, they had me switch to a formula that was soy based vs milk and with a high sucrose content and add Malt Supex (at the time it was about $20. per bottle) and it did the trick. I would consider that with your doctor or pharmacist guidance and begin to add foods with less milk products and more fiber fruits other than banannas. I hope this helps. Drink alot of water, fresh fruit and high fiber in her toast, cereal etc... then cut back on any binding foods. Maybe do a google search. Good luck I know this can be worrysome.
Mother of Three

My stepdaughter had one when she was 5 yrs. It took about 6 months to completely go away. She even went through a period where she was too afraid to go because of the pain and it would come out in her pants. She's always been a very picky eater and we think her diet played a huge part in her hard stools causing the fissure. We started adding prunes, blueberries, and flaxseed to her favorite foods without her knowing, it helped tremendously and we didn't have to use the suppositories the doctor wanted to give her. Good luck and hang in there!

my daughter does not but we use prune juice when her stools start to get to hard.

My daughter, now 16yrs old, had the same problem, she was not and still is not a girl that drinks a lot of water/liquid. My pediatricians nurse practitioner told me to give her PURPLE grape juice to soften her stools. It worked! I made sure she had one cup of it everyday

no, but *I* have had an anal fissue.
the skin in that area heals fairly rapidly. a fissue is a very surface "split" in the skin. just make sure you keep the area clean! as long as cuts are shallow, they seal up and heal quickly. the stool softeners are to ensure the stool doesn't cause another fissue. otherwise, she should be fine in a few days.

btw- make sure the stool stays soft and introduce more fiber and more water into your daughters diet. i didn't know better and stress, poor diet, and too much "pushing" cause me to have a case of hemmerhoids, which technically never goes away.

Yes, my 5 year old has had it happen twice. My understanding is that they are learning how to push when going to the bathroom and sometimes a fissure happens. My doctor prescribed a laxative as well, but we found that it was just too strong. A prune a day seemed to do the trick and plenty of fluids (non dairy).

My daughter went through a period with really hard and large stools that would sometimes cause bleeding. We added prunes to her daily diet and really upped her water intake. This helped dramatically.

We also bought her the book "Everyone Poops". Because her previous bowel movements had hurt so bad, she was really hesitant to go, which only caused them to be even more painful. She really loves that book and it helped her get over her fear of going.

No, but I've had one. They can last for months. Lots and lots of diaper ointment is healing. Zinc is a skin healer. The problem is they keep opening up every time you poop. Now that you mention it, I guess mine went away sometime cause I forgot about it until I read this. Don't worry!!!!!!!

I would offer her a lot more fiber-rich plant foods and cut way down on meat, dairy & white flour if you can. There are lots of resources on the web to help you find these types of foods that your kid will actually eat. Good luck!

If your daughter is eating gummy vitamins, jelly beans or a lot of gelatin, that could be constipating and make her stool very hard. Also, bananas, rice, apples, toast, hard boiled egg whites, squash, starches (potatoes) could also make it constipating. Otherwise, like the rest of the postings here, I would try some kind of oil and drinking lots of water or diluted grape juice to help soften her stool. Fissures do take time to heal especially if it's really bad. Hope things get better for her! Good luck!

Find out what is causing the constipation/hard stool (probably a food allergy, which most doctors will say is not the cause and you will have to do an "elimination" diet to determine). Also make sure she is drinking enough water and eleminate as much sugar as possible. Yogurt also helps with keeping digestive tract/bowles healthy(organic, plain; stir in some raw honey or fruit sweetend preserves; can also be made into a smoothy with frozen fruit in a blender) . And of course the old saying "an apple a day (helps) keeps the doctor away"; have her eat more fruit and vegetables (raw and unprocessed). If you have a heavy-duty blender or food processor, you can make a "raw" applesuace by tossing in a sliced apple with a bit of coconut milk or other liquid and maybe some honey or dates to sweeten it up. Coconut can be a natural laxitive and has healthy fats that growing kids need (coconut oil is great for cooking and can be added to warm drinks or food as a spplement). A dietary approach will be much more gental on her body than using harsh laxitives. Good luck.

My Daughter had a bout with these when she was about this age. It scared me to death too. Without doing a thing except making sure she ate balanced meals, with extra fruit, dried too, we overcame them. She is now 12 1/2 without any problems. My best advice to you is to relax. She is going to be ok, and if anything like mine, beautiful too.

Hi L.,
I would write down what your child is eating and take it to a nutritionist. In general, simple carbs have very little fiber but kids really like them. Try giving her prune "candy". The prunes that are individually wrapped look a little like a treat. I would have her eat one before each meal and find a higher fiber cereal that she will eat. Shredded wheat minis are a good example. Also, melons are good. Bananas and apples can be binding so I would not do more than one of these a day AND lots of plain water with just an inch or so of Fusion fruit juice to flavor it. Have her take walks with you to get her system into action. Also, you might try having her drink warm water when she is trying to go to the bathroom. It will relax her gut. Good luck, L..

I totally relate to what your going through, My son was constipated and he finally got past that, but now he is holding his poop so he won't have to go because when he was constipated it hurt so bad. So I took him to the dr and they had me to a 9 day regime of 'Suppository 1 day and then Enema another day and milk of magnesia" the enema helps but him being 2 years old he is arching his back and holding his butt cheeks together so he won't have to go. He has little redness near his anus too which heals but when he hasnt gone in a few days it becomes red again.
His dr had him on Miralax too but it caused stomach cramps, the milk of magenesia also cramped him.
I have started with putting flax seed oil in his drink or meal. I have read that this is more natrual for the kids and helps like mineral oil.
So for 1 week he was going without pain and now I am back to the arching of the back. And now he's barely eating.
I havent had him on regular milk either, he drinks Rice or Goats milk.
Good luck it's hard to watch your child through this, It sickens me but I have tried so many things. I have heard everyone telling me about the juices and prunes and water and fruits, but I can't force my son to eat this stuff. He's very very picky.
So I hope your daughter gets better soon.


I am a child care worker. I have had many children in my care that have had this problem. A few of my parents resorted to putting mineral oil with liquids. Not much, just a half tablespoon or so in a sippy cup. The bowels came out easier without having to use anything as harsh as a laxative.

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