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Rectal Bleeding
June 2003

Q. I have a 4-year-old girl and for the past 8 months she has had rectal bleeding when she goes to the bathroom. It wasn't there all the time before, but now every time she has a bowel movement, after I wipe her, it is fresh blood and sometimes there is also mucus there. What causes this bleeding? What should I do?

A. Blood appearing in the stool or on tissue should be investigated. Normal bowel habits are aided by a diet that is high in fiber (found in most fruits, grains, and vegetables), adequate water intake, and regular exercise. It is an uncommon problem in a child and should be evaluated by your doctor.

The mucus described brings up the possibility of an inflammation condition affecting the colon. Your pediatrician or a specialist in gastroenterology should be consulted.



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