Has your kid come out of the toilet and said to you ‘Mum, it hurts when I poop’? Chances are he is constipated. This is a quite a common problem among kids. Usually constipation in kids is not a cause for alarm as it can be prevented with proper diet and exercise.
Your child may complain of a tummy ache if she is constipated
How would you know your child is constipated?
- He has less than 3 bowel movements a week. This is a relative figure. Every child is different; some may poop once a day, some 3 times and some once in 2 days. So if your child is going less than what’s normal to them, then they maybe constipated;
- He has difficulty having a bowel movement;
- His stools are dry, hard and larger than normal;
- Bowel movements that are painful to pass could be accompanied by bleeding;
- Stomach pain
There are a few possible causes for constipation. They are:
- Holding back when they want to poop. This is common when a child is resisting being potty trained. Or if they’ve had one painful poop, then they hold back another one. This could turn into a vicious cycle;
- A diet that is low in fibre and doesn’t include enough liquids – mainly water;
- A diet high in fat and processed sugars – most commonly found in fast food;
- In babies constipation can occur when transitioning from breast milk to formula;
- In rare cases constipation could be caused by stress. Stress of starting at a new school, changes at home etc.;
- Another rare cause is medication. Specifically medication given to children who are anemic.
Although constipation is preventable and something that is not cause for alarm, necessary steps should be taken to relieve constipation if it occurs. If left untreated it could definitely get worse and cause a lot of pain and discomfort to your kid – and to you as well as we all know how helpless us mums feel when our babies are in pain!
Check out our gallery for 5 ways you can deal with your child’s constipation.