Infrequent bowel movements, dry and hard stool is common among children. Almost 1 in 10 kids deal with constipation. They have fewer than three bowel movements in a week and face trouble in evacuating themselves. But, these issues are not a matter of concern if it has not reached the chronic level. It can be treated by improving eating habits and exercising.
We will discuss many other ways to let your kid get rid of constipation. Before that, let us first understand the symptoms and causes of constipation among kids.
Symptoms of constipation in kids
The bowel movement of every child differs from each other. Some kids go more often in a day, whereas others go a few times a week. Generally, the problem arises when your kid goes only a couple of times in one week or even less than that. Here are a few symptoms that you need to keep an eye on.
- Big, toilet-clogging stools
- Pain with pooping
- Poor appetite
- Spending too much time on the toilet
- Straining in poop
- Bloating and stomach ache
- Going less than usual
If these symptoms occur, make sure to understand the causes and get in touch with the doctor to know how to treat constipation.
Causes of constipation in kids
Causes of constipation among kids can be due to medical issues and lifestyle factors. Having food without enough water and fibre can also be one of the reasons for constipation. Children who consume more processed foods, white bread, cheese, and meat generally deal with constipation.
Babies who move from breast milk to baby formula are more prone to deal with constipation. Another reason for this digestive issue can be when kids avoid going to the washroom even when they feel the urge to go. They might not respond to the internal urge to use the bathroom because they don’t want to stop playing a fun game. Ignoring the urge makes the stool harder and causes pain while evacuating.
Treatment for constipation among children
Give more fiber
The first and the most important thing that you can do to prevent constipation in kids is to feed them with more fibrous foods. Add foods such as vegetables, whole grains, and fruits to their diet. Fibers can not get digested and helps in cleaning the intestine by allowing bowel movement.
Give more liquid
Kids need to drink enough water and other liquids so that the stool can move easily through the intestines. The amount of liquid intake in kids differs based on their age and weight. A majority of school-going kids need at least 3 to 4 glasses of water every day.
If infants get constipated shifting from breast milk to solid foods, try to give them 2 to 4 ounces of apple, prune or pear juice daily.
Make a meal schedule
Eating regularly as a natural stimulant for bowels. So make sure that kids are having regular meals to develop routine bowel habits. It would be better to schedule breakfast a little earlier so that a child has a chance to have a relaxed visit to the washroom.
Ensure that kids are doing enough exercise
Exercise plays an important role in eliminating constipation. So encourage your kids to do enough exercise so that the bowel movements are on track. We can do simple exercises such as riding bicycles, playing catch, etc.
Small changes in lifestyle habits can help kids to get rid of constipation. But, if the aforementioned pointers are not helping then, without any further ado parents need to rush to a doctor because these symptoms can be an alarming sign for some other health complications.
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