- Blood in or on the stool
- Blood can also be passed alone
- Blood in the stools is mostly bright red
- Blood from bleeding in the stomach comes out tar-black
- Included: blood from constipation and anal fissure (tear)
Causes of Blood in Stool
- Anal Fissure. If no diarrhea, most of these children have a small tear in the anus. This is called an anal fissure. Anal fissures usually are caused by passage of a large or hard stool. This is the cause in 90% of children with blood in the stools.
- Strep Skin Infection around the anus can also cause blood-streaked stools.
- Bacterial Diarrhea. If also has bloody diarrhea, a gut bacterial infection may be the cause. Examples are Shigella, Salmonella, E.Coli 0157 or Campylobacter.
- Cow's Milk Colitis. Starts within the first 2 months of life. Causes loose, slimy stools. Can be blood-streaked. Treatment: need to avoid cow's milk formulas.
- Blood spreads rapidly and widely in water. Passing a stool with a few blood streaks often turns the toilet water pink. It doesn't mean a large blood loss.
Causes of Red Stools, but not Blood
The things listed below can also cause red-colored stools that look like blood:
- Certain foods (such as tomatoes or beets)
- Certain drinks (such as red Kool-Aid)
- Certain medicines (such as amoxicillin or omnicef)
Anal Fissure or Tear
- An anal fissure is the most common cause of blood in the stools.
- It causes blood on the surface of a stool. Blood may also be found on toilet tissue after wiping.
- The blood is always bright red.
- Only a few streaks or flecks are seen.
- You may see a shallow tear at 6 or 12 o'clock on the anus.
- Caused by passing a large or hard stool.