Constipation in children is a common problem. A constipated child has infrequent bowel movements or hard, dry stools.
Common causes include early toilet training and changes in diet. Fortunately, most cases of constipation in children are temporary.
Encouraging your child to make simple dietary changes — such as eating more fiber-rich fruits and vegetables and drinking more fluids — can go a long way toward alleviating constipation. If your child's doctor approves, it may be possible to treat a child's constipation with laxatives.
Aug. 12, 2017
- Nurko S, et al. Evaluation and treatment of constipation in children and adolescents. American Family Physician. 2014;90:82.
- Schrank KS. Constipation. In: Emergency Medicine. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2013. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 8, 2016.
- Constipation in children. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/healthinformation/healthtopics/digestivediseases/constipationinchildren/Pages/allcontent.aspx. Accessed July 8, 2016.
- Kuizenga-Wessel S, et al. Functional constipation and incontinence. In: Pediatric Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 8, 2016.
- Sood MR. Functional constipation in infants and children: Clinical features and differential diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 8, 2016.
- Constipation in children. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/symptoms-in-infants-and-children/constipation-in-children. Accessed July 8, 2016.
- Sood MR. Prevention and treatment of acute constipation in infants and children. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 8, 2016.
- Davis JL. Identifying underlying emotional instability and utilizing a combined intervention in the treatment of childhood constipation and encopresis: A case report. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2016;22:489.
- Constipation. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed July 12, 2016.
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015-2020. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/. Accessed July 21, 2016.