Things you need to know about constipation in kids
Nothing bugs a child more than a digestive system that doesn’t do its job properly. Constipation in kids is especially a common problem that makes them irritable, cranky, and causes appetite loss as well. And the best way to deal with constipation is by making your toddler’s diet fibre-rich. Adequate hydration is also necessary for smooth bowel movements and less pain and stress. So, read on to understand more about constipation in kids and how to identify and treat it:
5 symptoms of constipation in children:
- Hard pebble-like stools
Kids, suffering from constipation, often pass very hard stools. Their poop is usually like pebbles.
- Pain while passing stools
Children feel immense pain while passing stools as their stool is very hard and the rectal muscles are soft. .
- Less frequent stools
The frequency of stools in kids suffering from constipation also becomes very low. While some kids might poop 2-3 times a day, some might pass stool twice or thrice in a week. So, please take note of your child’s stool frequency, and if he has not passed stool in line with his toilet habits, definitely consult a paediatrician.
- Frequent, small and runny stools
While suffering from constipation, a child might unknowingly pass runny stools as well. As the stool gets lodged in the bowels in large quantities, it might seep out accidentally.
- Change in child’s behaviour
If your child becomes irritable, refuses to eat anything or complains about a sore stomach, these might be signs of constipation.
7 possible causes of constipation in kids:
- Absence of physical activity
Lack of physical activity might lead to improper digestion of food, as most kids these days watch television or play games on tablets. This can lower the metabolic rate and lead to constipation.
- Poor diet
Sometimes a poor diet, consisting more of processed food items and less of natural foods, might result in constipation.
- Excessive amount of milk
When a child starts growing, his nutritional requirements change. His body needs more solid foods, rich in fibre. So, if you feed your toddler too much of cow’s milk and fewer solids, then it might cause constipation.
- Holding stools for a long time
Are feelings of discomfort, embarrassment, or pain holding your child back from passing stool? Then that might lead to constipation too. It can also happen if he is too busy playing and doesn’t want to take a toilet break.
- Intolerance to some food items
Sometimes, intolerance to certain food groups can cause toddler constipation . Wheat, eggs, dairy, seafood and especially junk foods that are high in salt or sugar can cause this issue.
- Improper balance of microflora
If there is a lack of balance of microflora in your child’s gut, he might not pass frequent stools. Probiotic foods can help in such cases, like yoghurt.
- Poor fluid consumption
Fluids are very important for the body to regulate metabolism. So, if your child is not consuming enough water or fluids, he might suffer from constipation.
Constipation remedy tips for kids:
- Healthy balanced diet
A healthy balanced diet is very important for regulating metabolism in kids. So, you must ensure that their diet comprises of whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Try to give them less amount of processed foods or foods rich in sugar.
- Regular physical activity
Daily physical activity ensures better metabolism and smoother digestion. Hence, encourage more outdoor playtime and less of screen time.
- Toilet training
Encourage toilet sitting from the time your child is 2 years of age. It can be up to three times a day, after every meal.
- Sufficient intake of fluids
Ensure that your child is taking adequate amount of fluids and water daily. Apart from plain water, fresh fruit juices or unsweetened lassi can be given. Coconut water is also a good choice.
- Giving oral supplements
If constipation still persists, you can give them oral supplements, after consulting a doctor.
The above tips should help you remedy constipation in kids easily. However, if the symptoms persist and your child complains of other complications like blood in the stool or a fever, consult a doctor immediately.