Constipation in kids is the common problem these days. Toilet Training and balanced diet contribute to the two most important parameters affecting the colorectal health in kids. Adults and children display distinct criteria in constipation due to bowel movements difference. From the liquid milk diet as an infant to the habits of food intake as a toddler to a school going kid, the different situations put the gastrointestinal tract of the kid to the ongoing change. The large part of children population with constipation does not have an underlying medical disease causing constipation. A child having fewer than three bowel movements per week and accompanied by stools which are hard / painful to pass, may indicate the constipation case. Abdominal pain, blood on the surface of stool, decreased apetite, fever, vomiting are the additional points which may be linked to the child suffering constipation. A kid fears to go to toilet as bowel movement hurts. A child may give you some general indications. These are
- Twisting their body more often
- Clenching their buttocks indicating abdominal discomfort
- Withholding the stools accompanied by absurd facial expressions
Causes of Constipation in Children
Constipation in children is natural these days. Unhealthy lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits and sedentary lifestyle are the three big terms indicating a child’s gastrointestinal health. Children are hooked up to the Smart phones where outdoor activities a miss. Parents should insure that child goes out and play. A child’s constipation health is very important. Some signs and symptoms of constipation in children should not be ignored at early stages. Let’s go through some general causes of constipation in children. These are as follows-
- Poor Bowel Habits
Good bowel habits are very important for colorectal health. A proper routine should be followed by the child. Parents should inculcate good bowel habits and hygiene parameters too.
- Not Drinking Enough Water
Total water intake for girls and boys (age group-4 yrs to 8 yrs)-5 cups/day.
Total water intake for girls (age group-8 yrs to 13 yrs)-7 cups/day and for boys (age group-8 to 13 yrs)-8 cups/day. Details by – Institute of Medicine of the National Academies
- Low Fiber Diets
Include fiber-rich fruits and vegetables in child’s diet. Diet changes from liquid diet intake to solid diet may also be one of the reasons for constipation.
- Withholding the Urge to go to Toilet
A bad experience of painful stool passage may trigger the fear of toilet. Talk to the child and ask him the details. Holding-on the stools may further make the child feel more constipated.
- Underlying Diseased Condition
A metabolic or digestive system problem, defects of the spinal cord, thyroid deficiency or any another underlying condition may lead to constipation.
- Poor Toilet Training
A good toilet training is a must when a child is a toddler. Good toilet training prevents many problems related to constipation.
- Medicine Intake
- Allergy to Cow Milk
Some children may be allergic to cow milk and also to cheese made from it. Try soya milk if the child is allergic to cow milk. Gripe Water can help in digestion in kids.
- A Family History of Constipation
Genetic predisposition to constipation may be another reason. A family history of constipation may make the child prone to constipation.
Treatment for Constipation in Kids
In older kids, constipation in children is not a serious issue. An early ignored constipation may lead to chronic constipation at later stages. If the constipation lasts longer than two weeks and a child is experiencing weight loss, fever, blood in the stool, fever –a pediatric help is needed.
Incorporation of a healthy diet with high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can keep child’s constipation at bay.
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