Further Reading

Is my child constipated, and what can I do about?

by Katie M. Bell, RPA-C

Constipation is a very common medical condition that affects infants and children of all ages. Your child may be constipated if they have stools/bowel movements that are hard, infrequent and painful, or difficult to pass. Some other symptoms that may indicate that your infant or child is constipated are abdominal pain, nausea, bleeding from the child’s bottom when stool comes out, or brownish spots/marks in the child’s underwear or diaper.

Constipation can and should be treated immediately. You should call your pediatrician and seek medical advice and attention if your child does not have a bowel movement at least every 2-3 days or the stool is hurting the child. Diet modifications are the first thing to try with a constipated child. Children who are constipated are often not getting enough fiber or water in their diet. Some cases of constipation can be cured by simply increasing fiber and water and/or juice intake on a daily basis. Some children also need to decrease their dairy intake in order to prevent constipation.

You can also make sure your child is following a good “toilet routine” to encourage an easy daily bowel movement. For severe constipation, your child’s pediatrician may recommend a laxative, suppository or enema, but do not give any of these without a doctor’s direction and recommendation as they can be dangerous to children when used incorrectly.