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Many mothers complain that their children’s bowel movements are irregular and some kids may even have difficulties during their bowel movements.
Constipation is normal for children, especially in their early years as they adjust to transitioning from baby food to solids and as they start potty training as they become toddlers.
Find out what constipation is, the signs and symptoms, and how to treat it.
What is constipation and what are its signs and symptoms?
Constipation occurs when a child has difficulties during their bowel movements such as hard stools, or if they pass less stool than they usually do.
Symptoms of constipation:
- Less than 3 bowel movements a week
- Stomach pain
- Pain during bowel movements
- Hard stool
- Blood in stool
Causes of constipation
Your child may be constipated for several different reasons depending on his or her age. The main causes of constipation are:
- Withholding stool: Some toddlers -especially those who are going through potty training- could hold in their stool which will lead to constipation.
- Low fiber diet: Like grown ups -when their diets aren’t filled with fiber- your kids will get constipated.
- Not drinking enough fluids: Drinking water helps your kids’ digestive system work better.
- Medications: Some medicines may cause constipation in kids.
Treating constipation in kids is similar to treating constipation in adults. Focusing on your diet should be your main goal.
- Add fiber to their diets: Make sure your children eat high fiber foods such as greens, fruits, vegetables. Foods with high fiber include: Mangoes, prunes, pears, strawberries, apples, beans, legumes, raspberries, and broccoli.
- Drink lots of fluids: Make sure your child has enough fluids in their bodies.
- Exercise: Have your children play for at least 30 minutes per day to help regulate their bowel movement.
- Suppository: If the above remedies don’t work, please speak to your child’s pediatrician and ask them whether or not to give your child an anal glycerin suppository to relieve their constipation.
Further reading: How to Spot Series: Urinary Tract Infection in Children