Constipation in Children

Constipation is a common concern for children and parents. Constipation symptoms should be addressed promptly with your pediatrician or family doctor.

When should you contact a physician?

Do not hesitate to contact your child's physician if you have any questions or concerns about your child's bowel habits or patterns. The National Institutes of Health recommends that you talk to your child's physician if:

  • Episodes of constipation last longer than 3 weeks

  • The child is unable to participate in normal activities because of constipation

  • Normal pushing is not enough to expel a stool

  • Liquid or soft stool leaks out of the anus

  • Small, painful tears appear in the skin around the anus

  • Hemorrhoids develop

Who do I call when I'm concerned about my child's constipation?

Most of the time, constipation can be handled by your general pediatrician. Our gastroenterology (digestive system) specialists are available for phone consults to your pediatrician or doctor if needed.

Who do I call?

Most of the time, constipation can be handled by your regular pediatrician or general health care provider. Our gastroenterology (digestive system) specialists are available for phone consults to your doctor if needed.

How do you know if your child is constipated?

Janice Tendler, R.N., C.S., C.P.N.P, with OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital discusses symptoms and treatments for childhood constipation.

For families

Call 503-346-0640 to:

  • Request an appointment
  • Seek a second opinion
  • Ask a question


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Doernbecher Children’s Hospital
700 S.W. Campus Drive
Portland, OR 97239
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