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Health Information For Parents
Kids might have constipation if they:
Constipation is a very common problem in kids. It usually isn’t a cause for concern. Healthy eating and exercise habits can help prevent it.
Different kids have different bathroom habits. A child who doesn’t have a bowel movement every day isn’t necessarily constipated. One child might go three times a day, while another might go once every 1–2 days.
Generally, signs of constipation in kids include:
It’s also common for kids with constipation to sometimes stain their underwear with bits of stool.
Constipation can be due to a diet that doesn’t include enough water and fiber, which help the bowels move as they should. Kids who eat lots of processed foods, cheeses, white bread and bagels, and meats may become constipated fairly often.
Sometimes, medicines like antidepressants and those used to treat iron deficiencies can cause constipation. Constipation can happen in babies as they move from breast milk to baby formula, or from baby food to solid food. Toddlers who are toilet training sometimes can become constipated, especially if they’re not ready.
Some kids avoid going to the bathroom, even when they really have the urge to go. They might ignore internal urges because they don’t want to use a restroom away from home, stop playing a fun game, or have to ask an adult to be excused to go to the bathroom. Ignoring the urge to go makes it harder to go later.
Stress also can lead to constipation. Kids can get constipated when they’re anxious about something, like starting at a new school or problems at home. Research has shown that emotional upsets can affect how well the gut functions and can cause constipation and other conditions, like diarrhea.
Some kids get constipated because of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which can happen when they’re stressed or eat certain trigger foods, which often are fatty or spicy. A child with IBS may have either constipation or diarrhea, as well as stomach pain and gas.
In rare cases, constipation is a sign of other medical illnesses. So talk to your doctor if your child continues to have problems or if the constipation lasts for 2 to 3 weeks.
To prevent and treat constipation:
Fiber doesn’t have to be a turn-off for kids — try apples, pears, beans, oatmeal, oranges, ripe bananas, whole-grains breads, and popcorn. Adding flax meal or bran to homemade fruit smoothies is another way to slip fiber into a child’s diet.
These small changes help most kids feel better and get the bowels moving the way they should. Talk with the doctor before giving your child any kind of over-the-counter medicine for constipation.
Sometimes your bowel movements – you know, the stuff inside your intestines we call poop – might be hard and dry.
Bowels are your intestines, and bowel movements are the stuff that’s in them (otherwise known as poop).
It’s normal to get a stomachache once in a while, but some kids have something more serious called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Find out more about it.
Find out what the experts have to say.
Learn about some common causes of rectal bleeding, most of which aren’t serious.
Ugh. Bellyaches. Find out what causes tummy trouble in this article for kids.
Constipation is when a child has fewer bowel movements than usual. Ease constipation with the three Fs: fluid, fiber, and fitness.
Many appetizing foods are also good sources of fiber – from fruits to whole-grain cereals. Here are ways to help kids get more fiber in their everyday diets.
Your child’s doctor may order a stool collection test to check for blood, bacteria, ova, or parasites. Find out how this test is performed and when you can expect the results.
If you have lactose intolerance, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans have the condition. Check out these tips on dealing with lactose intolerance.
Inflammatory bowel disease is an ongoing illness caused by an inflammation of the intestines. There are two kinds of IBD: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Many kids have lactose intolerance – trouble digesting lactose, the main sugar in milk and milk products – which can cause cramps, diarrhea, and gas.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common intestinal problem that can cause cramps, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Certain foods can trigger these problems. So can anxiety, stress, and infections.
Having irritable bowel syndrome can make a kid feel awful. The good news is that kids can take steps to feel better.
Some teens get stomachaches and diarrhea often. Read about irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a common intestinal disorder that affects the colon.
Constipation is a very common problem that usually happens because a person’s diet doesn’t include enough fluids and fiber. In most cases, making simple changes can help you feel better.
If your child has bowel movements in places other than the toilet, you know how frustrating it can be. Many kids who soil beyond the years of toilet teaching have a condition known as encopresis.
Kids who have celiac disease, a disorder that makes their bodies react to gluten, can’t eat certain kinds of foods. Find out more – including what foods are safe and where to find them.
Nearly everybody gets diarrhea every once in a while, and it’s usually caused by gastrointestinal infections. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Read this article to learn more.
If you aren’t pooping like usual, you could be constipated.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to two chronic diseases that cause intestinal inflammation: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Although they have features in common, there are some important differences.
Get tips and advice on helping your child make the switch from diapers to big-kid underwear â for good!
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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