How to Soothe a Sore Butt on a Child

Parenting offers very few certainties. However, one thing you can count on is that your child will at some point experience pain in the buttocks. The causes may range from diaper rash in infants to skateboarding accidents in adolescents. Treatments vary according to the age of the child and the cause of his pain, but most of these problems can be addressed at home.

A baby wearing a diaper. (Image: Ariel Skelley/Blend Images/Getty Images)

Diaper Rash

Until they're toilet trained, infants are prone to frequent irritations of the buttocks. There are a number of possible causes, ranging from yeast infections to new foods. A baby with sensitive skin might react to the perfume in a disposable diaper, or the detergent or dryer sheet used with a cloth diaper. Treat diaper rash by meticulously cleaning and drying the affected area, and protecting it with petroleum jelly or a zinc oxide cream. If the rash doesn't heal, or if it appears to become infected, see your doctor for further advice and treatment.


Infants and toddlers can develop a painful rash or even blisters from diarrhea in their diapers, while older children may experience anal irritation from the frequent stools and wiping. Treat diaper-wearing infants the same as you would if you were treating diaper rash. Give older children a small quantity of zinc oxide cream on a tissue, which they can apply themselves to the irritated area. Warm baths can be soothing, especially with baking soda added to counter the diarrhea's acidity. Keep your child hydrated with electrolyte-containing beverages, and seek medical help if the diarrhea persists beyond a day or two.

Constipation and Hemorrhoids

At the other end of the spectrum from diarrhea, constipation and hemorrhoids can also cause pain. Mild constipation can be countered by increased fiber and liquids in the diet. Serving plenty of water and additional fruit, dried fruit or oatmeal porridge for a day or two can have the desired effect; so can gentle fiber-based laxatives, with your doctor's okay. Additional fiber can also ease hemorrhoids by softening the stool, or over-the-counter stool softeners can be used. Consult your doctor for other treatment options suited to your child's age.

Coccyx and Sacroiliac Injuries

Active children at all ages are prone to various accidents, bumps and bruises. From time to time, an especially nasty bump to the backside can cause your child ongoing pain. Sometimes this is simply a deep bruise, which will go away on its own after a few days. However, sometimes it can be a fracture or dislocation of the coccyx, or tailbone. The sacroiliac joint, where the spine meets the pelvis, can also be hurt. These injuries require professional diagnosis and care. They're often caused by skateboard and similar accidents.

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