Constipation is very common in children. It is directly related to not consuming sufficient amount of fluids, a diet high in foods like milk, cheese, etc., and low consumption of fiber. A person is said to be constipated, when the bowel movements are infrequent and he finds it difficult to pass stools or passes hard stools. If your child passes stools infrequently, but has soft stools and does not have any difficulty in passing them, then you need not be worried. Severe constipation in children is when the child has constipation problem for about 2 weeks. Let us know what causes constipation in kids.
It is noticed that constipation is common in children and it usually goes away on its own. Constipation in children is seen when the child is introduced to baby formula milk or whole cow milk, and also when the child is introduced to solid food. Another cause is when the child consumes less fluids in the form of water, milk or any other fluid. Like it is necessary for adult diet to be rich in fiber, it is equally important that your child also consumes a diet rich in fiber. Often it is noticed, that a child's diet is rich in fat and refined sugar. This is also one of the possible reasons, why the child is often constipated.
If your child has been sick and on some medication, the medications can give rise to constipation. If your child is on any vitamin supplements or iron supplements, and the consumption of fluid is less, it may give rise to constipation.
It is observed that children ignore their urge of a bowel movement. This condition is commonly observed in children who suffer from chronic constipation. The child may do this if he does not want to interrupt his play, if he is at school and is embarrassed to ask the teacher to use the washroom, or if he does not want to use a public washroom. Due to regular avoidance of passing stool, they build up in the lower abdomen and become hard. Then passage of these stools can be very painful for the child, which will cause him to avoid bowel movements all the more.
To ascertain, whether your child is indeed constipated, you will have to closely monitor the bowel movements and eating patterns of your child. Children who are constipated usually pass very large, hard stools, resembling a hard pellet. Bowel movements are very irregular and also painful. Along with all the above mentioned symptoms, the child can also have cramping abdominal pain. Other signs of this condition are decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, frequent urination, bed-wetting, reappearing urinary tract infections, etc.
When your child is severely constipated, you will have to give your child some stool softeners. You may want to give your child apple juice or prune juice, as they bring about immediate constipation relief. If your child is older, you may want to give your child soy milk. An important step to undertake while treating constipation in children is to include food rich in fiber in their diet. Fiber rich foods include cereals, grains, vegetables, and fruits. Make sure that the child does consume sufficient amount of fluids as well. If none of the home remedies work, you may have to take your child to a pediatrician. The doctor may prescribe a laxative, depending upon the age of the child and severity of the problem.
Constipation in children should not be neglected. You may want to prevent the recurrence of the problem. Giving your child toilet training and getting him to into a regular habit of bowel movement, will help in avoiding problems in the future.