Constipation is very common in children. Parents should know when your child is constipated to work out effective solutions.
Symptoms of Constipation
- Your child has infrequent bowel movements (less than three times a week)
- Your child has hard, dry stools; the stools can be difficult or painful to pass, or so large is it that the toilet is obstructed
- There can be pain when having a bowel movement.
- Stomach pain and bloating
- Abdominal pain can also occur
- There may be blood on the surface of the stool
A more bewildering symptom of constipation in children can be diarrhea, from time to time. Diarrhea, in this case, occurs because a large formed stool has stuck in your child’s rectum, and liquid stool gets passed around it.
The pain that follows the bowel movement may cause your child to avoid it. Therefore, take notice of your child’s behaviors such as clenching their buttlocks, crossing the legs, making faces when trying to withhold stool.
Causes of Constipation in Children
- Withholding stool. Your child may try to hold bowel movements because he or she is scared of using the public toilet, stressed about potty training, or does not want to stop his playing, or fearful of painful bowel movements. If it hurts to poop, your child may try to avoid it the next time.
- Constipation can occur when your diet does not include fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber or does not provide enough fluid. Children are more likely to be constipated when they have some changes in diet – an obvious example is when they change from an all-liquid diet to one that has solid foods.
- Side effects of some medications. Constipation may be the result of some particular antidepressants and many other drugs.
- Family history.
Treatments for Constipation
A diet rich in fiber with plentiful fluids
This means that you should provide your child’s plate with a great number of fresh vegetables and fruits, cereals that are high in fiber, whole grain breads, and a wide range of beans and other legumes. Trail mix and popcorn are two good sources of fiber, but with popcorn, you should minimize the amount of salt and butter. Foods that have probiotics, such as yogurt, can enhance good digestive health.
In addition to fiber, fluids also play an important role. Consuming high amounts of rich-fiber foods without getting enough fluids in order to flush it through the system can worsen the condition. Remind your child to drink a lot of water, together with some milk, but limit sugary drinks.
Frequent toilet time
Talk to your child about benefits of using the toilet first thing in the morning or after a meal. Younger children can be encouraged more easily.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: August 15, 2017 | Last Modified: August 16, 2017
Constipation in children. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/constipation-in-children/symptoms-causes/dxc-20235978. Accessed August 11, 2017
Treatments for Constipation in Children. http://www.webmd.com/children/guide/constipation-treatment#1. Accessed August 11, 2017