If your child is having fewer than three bowel movements a week, they may be constipated. Constipation in kids can cause stomach pain and make it hard to pass stool. There are things you can do to help relieve your child’s constipation.
Signs of Constipation in Kids
1. Fewer Than Three Bowel Movements a Week
If your child is having fewer than three bowel movements a week, they may be constipated.
2. Hard or Lump Stools
Hard or lumpy stools can be difficult to pass. This can cause your child to strain when they go to the bathroom.
3. Painful Bowel Movements
Your child may have pain when they try to have a bowel movement. This can be a sign that their stools are hard or they are constipated.
4. Blood in Stools
If you see blood in your child’s stool, it may be a sign of constipation. Blood in stool can also be a sign of other medical conditions.
5. Bloating or Swelling in the Stomach
Your child may have a bloated or swollen stomach if they are constipated.
6. Loss of Appetite
Your child may not feel like eating if they are constipated. They may also lose weight.
Your child may be irritable or cranky if they are constipated. This can be due to the pain from constipation.
What Causes Constipation in Kids?
There are many reasons why a child may be constipated. Common causes include:
- Not eating enough fiber
- Not drinking enough fluids
- Not getting enough exercise
- Taking medications that cause constipation
Constipation can also be caused by an intestinal blockage. This can happen if your child swallows something that they shouldn’t have. Intestinal blockages are a medical emergency.
How Is Constipation Diagnosed?
Your child’s healthcare provider will ask about your child’s symptoms and health history. They will give your child a physical exam.
Your child may also need any of the following tests:
X-ray of the abdomen. This test is used to look for an intestinal blockage. Your child may be given a liquid called barium to help the intestines show up on the x-ray.
Anorectal manometry. This test is used to check for a blockage in the anal canal. A small, soft tube is placed in your child’s rectum and anus. The tube is then inflated. This allows the healthcare provider to check for any blockages.
Treatment for Constipation
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
Your child may need any of the following:
- A high-fiber diet. This diet includes foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain cereals.
- A stool softener or laxative. This medicine makes it easier to have a bowel movement.
- Exercise. This can help the intestines work better.
Your child may need to stay in the hospital if they have a severe intestinal blockage. They may need surgery to remove the blockage.
If your child is having difficulty passing stool, is having fewer bowel movements than usual, or is complaining of abdominal pain, they may be constipated. While constipation is common and usually not serious, it can be uncomfortable for your child.
There are several things you can do to help relieve your child’s constipation, including:
-Encouraging them to drink plenty of fluids
-Making sure they’re getting enough fiber in their diet
-Encouraging them to exercise
If your child is still having difficulty after trying these things, you may want to talk to their doctor about other options, such as medication.
If you’re looking for pediatric care doctors in NJ, Agile Urgent Care is the place for you! Our urgent care specialists will ensure that your child will get immediate medical attention should they need it to ease your worries. Reach out today to schedule a consultation!