Constipation

Constipation is hard, dry, painful, rock-like stools or no stools for several days.

You can tell if your child is constipated by:
  • Changes in his normal bathroom pattern.
  • Straining on the toilet.
  • Bleeding with bowel movements.
  • Smear of stool in underwear (leaky BMs).
  • Change in appetite.
  • Stomach cramps and bloating.
Constipation in children often happens when they:
  • Donít drink enough.
  • Donít eat enough fiber and roughage (found in breads, cereals, fruit and vegetables).
  • Eat and drink too many milk products.
  • Wait too long to use the bathroom (hold stool).
  • Have stressful toilet training or other activities.
Home care
  • Older children should have a balanced diet that includes plenty of raw vegetables and fruits (carrot sticks, lettuce, celery, broccoli, peaches, pears, apricots) and breads and cereals high in fiber (Raisin Bran,Cheerios, oatmeal, graham crackers, whole wheat bread). Offer your child water and fruit juices often.
  • If your infant has started eating baby foods, give him peas, apricots, peaches, pears and prunes. Offer your infant cherry, prune, grape and apple juice.
  • Limit the amount of constipating foods like milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt, cooked carrots, squash, applesauce, and bananas.
Call your childís doctor if your child:
  • Tells you his bottom itches, hurts or is bleeding.
  • Has a lot of soiling in his underwear (leaky BMs).
  • Has not had a bowel movement for three days after you have changed his diet.
Take your child to the Emergency Room if he has severe stomach pain with or without fever.