A day without a bowel movement isn’t necessarily a cause of alarm, but if your child is experiencing chronic constipation then your little one needs attention. Constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal problems affecting children these days. If this problem is not treated appropriately, it can cause harmful effects on the child’s health. It can cause physical as well as emotional distress in childhood, and this can have an impact on the lives of children, particularly in the young child for years to come. Constipation is a difficulty in passing the stool, which is a common problem in children. A constipated child has infrequent bowel movements and hard, dry stools that cause discomfort and pain. Approximately 5% of school-going children suffer from constipation. Around 90%-95% of constipation in children is functional, and the children are developmentally normal. Many children avoid going to the toilet because they are busy playing or in other activities, so when the stools remain in the colon for a long time the water is absorbed from the stool, thereby making it harder and dry.
Constipation is commonly observed in:
The causes of constipation are usually related to the food and the drink that the child is consuming.
Causes of Constipation in Children
Here are some common causes of constipation in kids.
Sometimes, it becomes a vicious cycle if once the child experience pain and difficulty while passing the stool and then the child becomes fearful of repeating the experience so the child starts avoiding going to the toilet and withholds the bowel movements, and, later, the child starts to have hard painful stools.
Symptoms of Constipation:
Here are some common symptoms that indicate the child is suffering from constipation.
17 Helpful Tips to Manage Constipation in Children:
Let us look at some tips that can help counter the problem of constipation in your child.
If your kid is purposely avoiding going to the bathroom then find out the reason and try talking to him or her to get rid of the habit of avoiding going to the bathroom.
8 Helpful Tips for Managing Constipation in Infants:
In the case of infants:
To diagnose constipation, we need a detailed history and clinical examination of the child. Occasionally, the doctor may want to do an abdomen x-ray.
Conventional Treatment for Constipation in Children:
The treatment includes modifying and improving the diet, following specific nutrition recommendations, and supportive treatments, such as laxatives, suppositories, stool softener, and enemas.
Homeopathic Approach in Treating Constipation:
Homeopathic medicine helps to regularize bowel function, facilitate bowel movements, and promote the development of well-formed normal consistent stools. The beauty of Homeopathy is that it is not habit-forming as laxatives.
Constipation in children is not serious. Most of the time, home remedies, simple dietary and lifestyle changes, regular exercise, abdominal massage, and having 6-8 glasses of water per day may help restore the child’s daily trip to the toilet, thereby treating constipation effectively without any need to visit the doctor. However, even after changing the diet and lifestyle factors, if it persists then you can see the doctor or visit the doctor. If constipation affects the child’s daily activities and if it is causing more discomfort to the child, see a doctor. And, do not resort to laxatives and enemas immediately as they are habit-forming.
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Author: Dr Mithila