6 Simple Ways to Cure Constipation in Children
Constipation in children is quite common, occurring in up to 10% of children, but only 3% of parents seek medical advice.
Most children pass stools as far apart as every two or three days.
Here's a quick list of signs that will tell you if your child is constipated:
- Dry and hard stools.
Difficult to pass stools.
Fewer than 3 bowel movements per week.
As long as the stools are soft and easy to pass the frequency of bowel movements aren't that big of an issue.
If you are at all unsure, contact your doctor and trust your maternal instincts.
With all that said, let's jump right into the meat.
6 Common Causes
The causes are pretty much the same as for adults. Plus, children tend to ignore a lot of the things we adults have learned to do.
Here is a quick list of causes and examples:
Water, juices and other healthy fluids can be ignored by a child when they're playing and having fun.
Milk can be the cause of constipation in children because of intolerances, if your child is drinking a lot of processed milk and/or dairy products, try going without them for awhile.
Fiber is always important, not just solely because of the fiber but because the foods that contain fiber are extremely healthy. Examples are fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and some grains.
Mmm, cookies, candy and ice cream. I remember those times when I was a kid, I lived for sweets. If you let your child have too much of these he'll get too much unhealthy fat and most likely no fiber.
When you switch a younger child from breast milk it can take awhile for their digestive system to adapt, which can bring temporary constipation.
- The Urge
The urge to have a bowel movement can easily be ignored by a child that is having so much fun playing that it can become a habit. It is important to go when you can go.
6 Constipation in Children Cures
Constipation usually passes quickly in children, so you most likely have nothing to worry about.
It can be a sign to change their foods to healthier alternatives, and if you want to speed the process along, here are 8 cures you can try:
Fresh, clean water is very important, make sure your child drinks enough and learns to form a habit of drinking if he or she is moving around a lot (which children usually are!).
Fresh juices are always good! Prune juice for example has a laxative effect.
It's hard to change children's dietary habits, but it is certainly worth a try! Give them more fruits, veggies and other healthy foods that are high in nutrients and fiber.
- Toilet Training
Encourage your child to have regular bowel movements. Have your child sit on the toilet for 10-15 minutes after each meal. Our bodies have a natural reflex of emptying the bowels after every meal, use it!
- Foods that Constipate
The foods that are commonly known as constipating foods are most dairy products such as yoghurt, milk, cheese and almost everything that is processed.
Throw the sweets out or at least hide them well ;).
When to Call Your Doctor
If your child is experiencing any of the following symptoms you should call a doctor immediately.
- Abdominal pain
- Bloody diarrhea
- No appetite
Remember to be patient and NEVER embarrass or punish your child, use rewards and be positive if you want the fastest results and a happier child.