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constipation in children

How to manage constipation in infants and children?

How to manage constipation in infants and children?

Constipation in infants and children occurs when your kid is not able to pass stool no matter how hard he tries/strains. It is common in children. Kids may have different bowel movements.

Take a note: Since babies have weak abdominal muscles they will strain to pass stool, their face may get red. This can be normal as long as stool coming out of them is soft.

Before we discuss how to manage constipation in infants and children, it is important to identify whether your baby is even suffering from this issue. You can look for various signs of constipation in your kid.

  • He/she will have a hard time passing stools even with efforts and sometimes it may be accompanied by pain also. Their stool will be dry and hard.
  • Your kid may complain of bloating and bellyache and sometimes you may notice blood on the stool.
  • If you find traces of stool or liquid in your kid’s underwear then that’s a sign of faecal impaction.
  • Your kid may visit washroom for less than 3-4 times per week. They will experience pain and will move their body in restlessness, sometimes clenching their buttocks.

Basically, when stool stays in colon for long time, water gets absorbed into colon which results in hard stool formation.

Constipation happens due to many reasons like your kid is having stress, not taking enough fiber in the diet, not taking enough fluid or you are switching from breast milk to solid food. The underlying pathology is that stool sits for too long in your kid’s body that water content gets absorbed by the colon. This results in constipation and hard stool.

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Not only that it may be due to some diseases of bowel or any other body part.

So what you should do manage this problem is to do some lifestyle changes. It includes giving your baby extra water/juice in between meals. If your kid is taking solid food then increase the fiber content of his/her food. You can add peas, beans, spinach etc.

If this doesn’t solve your problem then you can always consult your doctor. He will write you a prescription for some stool softeners (like docusate sodium), laxatives such as psyllium, Suppositories or gentle laxatives which will help your kid in regulating bowel movements. He may add some electrolyte solution too.

If that too fails then you kid may need enemas.

Advice: Don’t give over the counter meds to your kids without consulting your doctor.

If your kid is not able to pass stools for more than 3 days or he/she is vomiting or there is blood in stools then you should consult your doctor immediately and shouldn’t wait for long.

Your doctor will do some examination and will do some dietary and lifestyle modifications. Your kid may need some tests like blood tests or x-ray of abdomen.

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