If you think that your child is suffering from constipation there are certain clues to be looking for. First one is if your child has less bowel movements. If your child hasn’t had one for over four days or more and it is uncomfortable, your child is most likely constipated.
If your child’s stools are hard and uncomfortable to pass this may also be a clue. To the exact opposite, liquid stools can also pass the blockage in the intestine and end up in your child’s undergarment. It may not be diarrhea, but instead constipation.
Constipation may be a result of many different reasons. If a child eats too many low fiber foods such as milk, cheese, yogurt, and peanut butter, he/she could end up constipated. Your child should be eating more high fiber foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
If your body doesn’t drink enough liquids, he will become dehydrated. The body will respond and absorb more fluid from what is consumed and from the waste in the bowels. This could result in hard, dry bowel movements that are uncomfortable to pass.
If your child is at the age for toilet training, he/she may feel anxiety. Your child may start to hold their stools deliberately. Look to see if your child is straining to have a bowel movemet. While on the toilet check to see if your child stiffens their body, arches their neck, or gets red in the face with nothing coming out. Your child may be trying to hold it in.
Even when your child is toilet trained, he may not take enough time to empty his bowels completely. This can lead up to feces building up and it will cause the colon to cramp and stretch. Hard, larger, than normal, difficult to pass stools, caused by enlarged colon, will make your child less willing to use the toilet.
Lastly, lack of activity can cause constipation. If your child is not active there is not enough movement which helps blood flow of the child’s digestive system. In result your child my experience trouble with bowel movements.
To treat your child’s constipation there are different things that you may try. Stop giving your child foods such as bananas, cooked carrots, squash, and large quantities of dairy. These foods have a binding effect. Instead, boost your child’s intake of fiber with foods such as whole wheat crackers, cereal, fruits and vegetables. Some of these include prunes, apricots, plums, pea, beans, and brocolli.
Also monitor how much fluid your child drinks. To keep your child’s stool soft increase the amount of fluid he/she drinks each day. Water is best but you can add in amounts of prune or apple juice. You want to limit your child’s consumption of juice to prevent tooth decay and lack of appetite.
Encourage your child to play and perform physical activities. Movement such as walking, climbing, and running around get the blood flowing to all of the organs.
If your child is not ready to toilet train, do not pressure him before he/she is ready. If you push too soon you may make your child become afraid and he/she may end up holding bowel moveents. If you see that your child is doing this increase the amount of fiber that it eaten. Back off the training and look for signs to see that your child is ready to try it again.
Encourage your child to use the potty when he/she feels that they need to poop. If your child never feels ready, have them spend five or ten minutes sitting on the toilet after breakfast and dinner. If your child goes to preschool, make sure that they are using the toilet there, since some children are afraid to use them away from home.
It is important to talk to the doctor about treatment opetions. They may suggest an over the counter stool softener, a lubricant such as mineral oil, a suppository, or laxaties. Remember to always check with your doctor first.
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