At what point do you need to see a pediatrician when a child is experiencing rectal prolapse? My daughter is 5years old and it has been on since she was about 3years old but it usually comes out and goes back in.
Rectal prolapse happens as a result of weakness of the pelvic supporting muscles (muscles around the rectum) or loose attachment of the outer layer of the rectum to its inner muscular layer. Malnutrition or dehydration can contribute to the looseness in the rectal wall and the prolapse may improve with time when these issues are resolved.

Straining while stooling or prolonged sitting on the toilet while stooling either due to constipation or diarrhea respectively can also lead to rectal prolapse (these tend to weaken the pelvic floor muscles). Treating diarrhea and constipation is important. Use of stool softness and a change in stooling habits (not straining) should help.

A rectal prolapse may be partial or full thickness, so a paediatric surgeon should see the child, examine and prescribe the specific approach to treatment. While the child awaits review by the specialist, pushing the prolapse back into the anus (if it does not return on its own) should be gently done by the mum or dad. If it remains outside (cannot be pushed in) the child should be taken to the hospital as a matter of urgency.

Surgery may be required for rectal prolapse if it does not respond to regular treatment or if it gets complicated (remains outside, gets swollen.. etc).