CONSTIPATION IN CHILDREN

It’s not a fun conversation, but we all know parenting isn’t always fun. And potty training, poop talk, and understanding constipation in kids is an important part of the job.

HOW TO KNOW WHEN YOUR CHILD IS CONSTIPATED?

Knowing when kids are constipated can be tricky – especially when they are so young that they cannot verbalize their symptoms.

Common signs of constipation in children:

  • Less than three bowel movements a week
  • Hard stools that are difficult to pass
  • Cramps, stomachaches or nausea
  • Rectal bleeding (this symptom might be a sign of a serious condition, consult your pediatrician)
  • Urinary incontinence, frequent urination or bed-wetting (these symptoms might be signs of a serious condition, consult your paediatrician) Soiling (often confused with diarrhea)
  • Changes in behaviour such as a decrease in appetite or crankiness

HOW TO HELP PREVENT AND TREAT CONSTIPATION IN KIDS?

  • Keep Track of Bowel Movements – Encourage Regular Bathroom Trips – Constipation can occur when kids “hold it” too long.  Set a timer during potty training to remind kids to try more often.  And remember to remind older kids, too, that it’s not good to “hold it” too long.
  • Talk Openly About Bathroom Habits – Some kids find using the bathroom and talking about it embarrassing.  Make sure you stay neutral or even positive when discussing bathroom habits with your child so she feels comfortable with it, too.
  • Give Lots of Praise – In their article, No More Potty Problems!, Scholastic.com explains: “Praise, praise, and praise some more. Just as you do during potty training, heap praise and congratulations on a child who successfully poops, despite her apprehension. The more pain-free reps you can stack up, the less the fear.”  And don’t forget: praise is important when children try, but are unsuccessful, too!
  • Consult With Your Physician – If you suspect your child may be suffering from constipation for the first time, consult your physician. Sometimes constipation can be from illness or even certain medications. Your child’s physician can help to rule either of these out. 
  • Make Sure Your Child is Getting Enough Fiber & Fluids - Keep reading to know more about this!

Tips To Include Fiber-Rich Foods In Your Kid’s Diet: Adding fibers does not mean that you have to fill up your kid’s plate with only fibrous grains, fruits or veggies. Here are few effective tips that may help you incorporate fibers in your kid’s diet:

  • Include a fiber-rich cereal in your kid’s daily breakfast.
  • Make your little one eats plenty of fiber-rich fruits like apples, oranges, pears, figs or raspberries. Don’t peel off the outer skin of fruits like apples and pears, so that your kid gets enough fiber.
  • Add one or two fiber-rich vegetables to your kid’s diet. As the vegetables are low in calories and a rich source of nutrients, they help boost overall body growth.
  • Add beans or lentils to your kid’s tossed salad, pizza, and soups. Buy whole-grain and whole-wheat bread and pasta for your kids.
  • Add a small quantity of wheat bran, oat bran or ground flax to different baking dishes. Sprinkle dried fruit, nuts or seeds into your kid’s cereal, salads or yogurt.
  • Replace white rice with the different form of whole-grain products like oatmeal or wheat bran. You can also serve brown rice to your growing kid.
  • Encourage your growing kid to eat fruits instead of drinking fruit juice.

We hope the above list of tips and foods help your kid to get rid of constipation. If these suggestions do not work for your kid, immediately consult a doctor so that a proper diet chart and medication are prescribed for your child.