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How to Treat Constipation in Kids

As a parent, how do you know whether your child’s infrequent bowel movements are due to constipation or just their regular pattern? It might be difficult since there is no normal bowel pattern that fits all children. However, there are common symptoms that signal an issue is at hand.

Symptoms in Children

There are many factors that might contribute to this problem in kids and infants. The most common are changes in the diet, lack of fiber, illness, changes to routine or withholding. Symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Abdominal pain (Cramps or stomachaches)
  • Nausea
  • Hard, dry-looking stool
  • Feeling cranky
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Lack of appetite
  • Straining or difficulty passing stools
  • Several days with no bowel movement

Kid-Friendly Treatments

The most common prevention and treatment for constipation include hydration, fiber, and exercise. It’s important for the parent to learn what foods contain high fiber. The amount of fiber recommended for children varies based on their age:

  • 19 grams for 1-3-year-olds
  • 25 grams for 4-8-year-olds
  • 26 grams for 9-18-year-old females
  • 31 grams for 9-13-year-old males
  • 38 grams for 14-18-year-old males

In more severe cases, we might wish to run tests to determine if there is a medical condition. We might also prescribe medication, such as enemas or laxatives. Only use these under the direction of your doctor. Incorrect use of laxatives poses a danger to kids. If you are concerned about your child’s bowel patterns, schedule an appointment for a consultation with one of our doctors.

You can contact us at 561-275-7100 or visit us at 3255 Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 107 West Palm Beach, FL 33406.

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