My child is constipated. What can I do?

Constipation is common, especially in children, and can be caused by changes such as toilet training, stress, travel illness or the start of school. If your child is frequently constipated:

1) Provide a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and fiber.

2) Be sure your child drinks enough liquids daily to turn the urine clear or light yellow.

3) Plan daily toilet-sitting time for at least 5 to 10 minutes to help get things moving.

4) Encourage children to exercise or be active at least 30 minutes to an hour daily.

You may also ask your provider about fiber supplements, stool softeners, and in rare cases, suppositories or enema treatments. Also talk to your provider if your child has painful bowel movements associated with bleeding, stomachache, poor appetite vomiting, stool or urine accidents, or a change in gait.

Janice Tendler, R.N., M.S., C.P.N.P.
Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Gastroenterology
OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital

 

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About the Author

Tamara Hargens-Bradley is Associate Director of Media Relations for Oregon Health & Science University, OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital. She is the editor of the Healthy Families blog.
Doernbecher Children's Hospital

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