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How to Prevent and Treat Constipation in Kids?

July 30, 2022by admin0healthuno

How to Prevent and Treat Constipation in Kids?

July 30, 2022 by admin0

What is Constipation?

Constipation is

  • Having less than 3 bowel movements in a week.
  • Having irregular bowel movements.
  • Having dry, hard, lumpy stools or difficulty in passing stool.

Constipation in Children:

Constipation is a very common problem in kids at one time or another. Chronic constipation develops over months or years.

Some children with constipation have irregular stools. Though constipation can cause discomfort and pain, it’s usually temporary. If left untreated, symptoms could get worse.

What is a Healthy Bowel Movement (BM)?

A Healthy Bowel movement is essential for good health. There is no exact number for bowel movements. It varies from child to child just as they do in adults. What’s normal for your child may be different for another child. Most children have Bowel Movements (BM’s) 1 or 2 times a day. Other children may have Bowel Movements (BM’s) every 2 to 3 days.

What causes Constipation?

Several factors can trigger constipation, such as

  • Changes in Diet pattern – Not including fiber-rich fruits and vegetables in your kid’s diet may cause constipation. Also not drinking enough water, recommended amounts of fluids and healthy foods may affect Bowel movements.
  • Toilet Training – Early toilet training may leads to constipation among some kids. If you start toilet training too soon, then the process is likely to to take longer.
  • Food Intolerances – Cow’s milk allergy.
  • Medications – Constipation may be a side effect of some medicines and dietary supplements. Examples antacids, iron supplements, hypothyroidism, neurological medicines, etc.
  • Illness – If your child is sick and loses his appetite, a change in their diet can cause them to be constipated.

What are the Symptoms of constipation?

Some common symptoms are

  • BM’s that is hard, dry or difficult to pass.
  • Pain while having bowel movements.
  • Fear of having a bowel movement.
  • Changing positions to avoid BM like crossing his/her legs, twisting his/her body, standing on his/her heels, tightening his/her buttocks, doing unusual movements.
  • Blood in his/her stools.
  • Stomach aches, cramping, bloating and nausea.
  • Soiling having brownish wet spots in the underwear.

Sometimes children don’t want to stop playing to go to the bathroom.

Older children may hold back their stools when away from home (such as camp or school). They may be afraid of or not like using public toilets.

How is Constipation treated?

Treatment is based on your child’s age and how long and severe the problem is. Usually there are no special tests are needed to rule-out the issue. Chronic constipation may leads to complications or it may be an indication of an underlying condition.

Constipation may get worse if it isn’t treated. The longer stool stays inside the large intestine (or colon), the larger and drier it gets. Then it hurts to pass it. This starts a cycle and the child becomes afraid to have a BM and holds it in even more. Talk to your doctor if it lasts for more than a week.

For infants & babies:

Constipation may become a problem when starting solid foods and your doctor may suggest changes in diet or prescribe a medicine to help soften and pass the stools. Inability to pass stools in a newborn (younger than 1 month) can be a serious concern, and you should see your baby’s doctor.

For toddlers & teens:

Your doctor may prescribe medicine to soften or remove the stool. Do not give your child laxatives or enemas unless you check with the doctor. These drugs can be harmful to children if used wrong.
After the stool is removed, your child’s doctor may suggest ways you can help your child develop good bowel habits to prevent stools from backing up again.

How can I support my child to develop good bowel habits?

Here are some tips to help your child develop good bowel habits.

  • Help your child to set a toilet routine.
  • Pick a regular time to remind your child to sit on the toilet daily.
  • Put something under your child’s feet to press on. This makes it easier to push BMs out.
  • Make sure your child is consuming the recommended amounts of healthy foods, including foods that are rich in fiber.
  • Encourage your child to play and stay active.

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