Constipation in Kids

March is National Nutrition Month, and when it comes to children, I know many parents worry not only about what they put in their child but also what comes out…or lack there of, for better terms!

I’m talking about constipation! One of my most commonly encountered topics as a pediatrician. The way I approach constipation is not a one-size-fits all. No, actually, first I want to learn what parents are concerned about when it comes to constipation. Just knowing the frequency isn’t enough.

As a parent, it is important to pay attention to your child’s behaviors.

A few of the most common signs of constipation in babies, toddlers, and kids include:

  • Straining to poop
  • A touch of blood left on the toilet paper or in the diaper
  • Pain, or discomfort while pooping (which older children can verbalize)
  • Frequent trips to the bathroom with small hard stools

Besides diet, there are a number of reasons children (outside of the infant age) may be having constipation. Some children ignore the urge to stool, others are uncomfortable or embarrassed to use the bathroom at school. Rarely, supplements, vitamins, and certain Not hydrating! If you’re not sure how much water your child should be drinking, ask your child’s pediatrician for a guide!

Infants over 6 months of age

Usually related to their digestive tract getting used to solid foods

School age children

Often due to more behavioral causes like potty training, a major change from routine, embarrassment

Adolescents and Teenagers

Diet, lack of physical activity

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