Children’s constipation is one of the most prevalent issues. Constipation manifests itself in a child’s infrequent bowel movements or firm, dry feces. Early toilet training and dietary changes are two common explanations. Most bouts of constipation in children, fortunately, are very brief.
Make sure you encourage your child to make modest dietary changes to help relieve constipation, such as eating more fiber-rich fruits and vegetables and drinking more water. When it comes to your child’s constipation, the rule of thumb is whether the stool is easy or difficult to pass, not how often your child has a bowel movement. Although not every child will have a daily bowel movement, the stool should not be hard or uncomfortable. Dietary changes, routine changes, medications, not drinking enough fluids, and other factors are all common causes of constipation. Constipation can be treated by simply drinking more fluids, drinking juices, or adhering to a particular diet, but if the condition persists, you should first consult your child’s doctor. If your child’s doctor agrees, laxatives may be used to treat constipation in children.
Constipation in children can manifest as the following signs and symptoms:
- If their week’s worth of bowel movements is less than three.
- Having a bowel movement causes pain.
- stomach ache
- Hard, dry, and difficult-to-pass bowel motions
- Stool traces in your child’s underwear – an indication that stool has been backed up in the rectum.
- Blood on the firm stool’s surface
If your child is afraid of having to go to the bathroom, he or she may try to avoid it. When attempting to grasp a stool, you may notice your child crossing his or her legs, squeezing his or her buttocks, twisting his or her body, or even making expressions.
Constipation is caused by waste or stool moving too slowly through the digestive tract, resulting in hard and dry stool. Constipation in children can be caused by a variety of reasons, including:
If he or she is terrified of the toilet or doesn’t want to stop playing, your child may ignore the urge to go to the bathroom. When they are away from home, some children withhold because they are uncomfortable using public restrooms. Withholding can also be caused by painful bowel movements caused by large, hard stools. If pooping hurts, your child may strive to avoid repeating the unpleasant experience. Issues with toilet training your youngster may resist and refuse to use the toilet if you start toilet training too soon.
A voluntary decision to ignore the desire to poop can rapidly become an involuntary habit that is difficult to break if toilet training becomes a struggle of wills.
2. Dietary changes
Constipation can be caused by a lack of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, as well as a lack of liquids in your child’s diet. Switching from an all-liquid diet to one that includes solid foods is one of the most prevalent causes of constipation in children.
3. Routine alterations
Bowel function might be affected by any changes in your child’s routine, such as travel, hot weather, or stress. Constipation is also more common in children when they first start school outside of the home.
Constipation can be caused by antidepressants and other medications.
5. Allergy to cow’s milk
Constipation can occur as a result of a cow’s milk allergy or from consuming too many dairy products (cheese and cow’s milk).
7. History of constipation issues in the family
Children who have had constipation in the family are more prone to acquire constipation themselves. This could be due to genetic or environmental variables that are shared.
8. Medical problems
Constipation in children is a sign of an anatomic deformity, a metabolic or digestive system dysfunction, or some underlying illness in rare cases.
1. Improve your child’s diet
Increase the amount of non-dairy drink and fiber your child consumes each day to soften the stools and make them easier to pass. Fruits and fruit juices containing sorbitol (prune, mango, pear), vegetables (broccoli, peas), beans, whole-grain bread, and cereals are all high-fiber foods. Reduce your intake of items that can cause constipation, such as fatty, low-fiber foods. Limit yourself to 16 ounces of milk per day.
2. Exercise often
Make sure your toddler spends at least 30 to 60 minutes each day playing. The bowels are also kept moving by moving the body.
3. Improve your child’s bowel movements.
Encourage your child to go to the bathroom on a regular basis throughout the day, particularly after meals and whenever they feel the need. Allow your child to sit for a minimum of 10 minutes at a time. Place a tiny stool under your child’s feet to provide leverage for pushing. Make using the bathroom a pleasurable experience for your toddler by rewarding him or her with a special tale or a sticker.
If your toddler’s constipation is chronic, your doctor may prescribe medicine to help him or her. If your child’s constipation is caused by a medicine, you may need to explore stopping or altering that medication
Factors that are at risk
Constipation in children is more common in children who:
- Are sedentary
- You aren’t getting enough fiber in your diet.
- If you have a medical problem that affects your anus or rectum.
- If you have a neurological condition.
- You aren’t getting enough fluids.
- Certain medications, such as antidepressants, should be used.
Although constipation in children might be unpleasant, it is usually not a serious condition. However, if constipation becomes severe, issues may arise, including:
- Anus pains due to skin tears around the anus (anal fissures)
- Rectal prolapse occurs when the rectum protrudes from the anus.
- Stool restraint
Because of the pain, people avoid bowel movements, which causes impacted stool to gather in the colon and rectum and seep out (encopresis)
To assist youngsters, avoid constipation, try the following:
- High-fiber foods should be offered to your youngster. A high-fiber diet can aid your child’s body in producing soft, thick stools. More high-fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables, beans, whole-grain cereals, and bread, should be served to your child. If your child isn’t used to eating a high-fiber diet, start with a few grams of fiber per day to avoid gas and bloating.
- Dietary fiber should be consumed at a rate of 14 grams per 1,000 calories in your child’s diet.
- This amounts to around 20 grams of dietary fiber per day for younger children. It’s 29 grams per day for adolescent girls and young women. It’s 38 grams per day for adolescent boys and young men.
- Make a toileting schedule. Set aside time after meals for your child to go to the bathroom. Provide a footstool if necessary, so that your child can sit comfortably on the toilet and has enough leverage to release a stool.
- Remind your youngster to pay attention to nature’s cues. Some kids are so engrossed in their games that they overlook the need to go to the bathroom. Constipation can result from such delays if they occur frequently.
- Encourage your child to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Water is frequently the greatest option.
- Encourage people to engage in physical activity. Normal bowel function is stimulated by regular physical activity.
- Be encouraging. Reward your child’s efforts rather than his or her accomplishments. Give little prizes to youngsters who strive to move their bowels.
- Stickers or a special book or game that’s only available after (or possibly during) toilet time are possible prizes. Also, do not penalize a child who has soiled their underwear.
- Examine your meds. Ask your child’s doctor about alternate possibilities if he or she is on a medication that causes constipation.
If your child is constipated and has the following symptoms, call your doctor:
- Has acute stomach pain that becomes worse as soon as you move.
- Is vomiting and has a temperature
- Has a bloated stomach
Constipation, or the inability to pass hard, unpleasant stools, is a common complaint among young children. Mild instances can be treated in the comfort of one’s own home.
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