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Children Constipation

For children constipation is not uncommon nor is it wholly unexpected. Children are usually so active they seldom stop to eat the right foods or drink enough water. In most cases, constipation lasts only a day or two and has no lasting harmful effects on the child. However, even a day or two of being constipated is an unpleasant experience regardless of age.

Signs of Constipation in Kids

It may be evident your child is constipated if they:

  • Complain about stomach pains
  • Have no bowel movement for several days
  • Experience difficulty in bowel movements
  • Produce BM’s that are hard and dry
  • Vomit or feel nauseous

Reasons for Child Constipation

Children often try to forestall bowel movements for various reasons. When it’s playtime, for children constipation can occur because they don’t always want to stop long enough to “go.” If they’re in class, they feel embarrassed to ask permission to go to the bathroom to avoid being made fun of by others. Especially in children constipation often develops for social rather than physical reasons. Whatever the case may be, if children don’t go when their body is ready, their waste stays in the colon and becomes dries out. Eventually kids become constipated.

It can be distressing to watch you child suffer from abdominal pain and constipation. Luckily, even chronic constipation can be managed. Most of the time in children constipation results from poor eating habits. It can be a daunting task to keep track of your child’s eating habits, especially nowadays when both parents typically work to make ends meet. It also doesn’t help that with the limited time you have, you’re usually serving quick and easy meals before rushing to soccer, karate, school events, and sleepovers. These highly processed fast foods are loaded with fats and chemical preservatives that hinder your digestive system’s ability to function efficiently.

As a society, we’re barely beginning to mature enough to understand how to live healthier. For decades, we’ve been abusing our bodies with fried foods, refined sugars, and chemically enhanced meat and dairy products. And we’ve definitely paid the price for our ignorance—some studies cite obesity as the rising star of health problems. It’s important to pass the knowledge we’ve acquired the hard way onto our children before they latch onto the same terrible habits.

Alleviating Child Constipation

Older Kids:

More advantageous than any exercise routine or fad diet is simply to start eating better. Making educated choices when it comes to the food you eat is the best way to improve your family’s health. Easy ways to help your child overcome his or her constipation include having them eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, severely reducing sweets and sugary drinks, add more fiber to the menu, and have them drink more water every day. If your child is typically sedentary, preferring the PlayStation® to the playground, you need to implement more physical activity into their schedules. Exercise helps the colon work more efficiently; and, whether we’re talking about adults or children constipation is just the result of poor digestive health.

You can remove or limit the amount of red meat your child eats, and you can monitor their dairy intake. Children need the calcium milk provides, but if they drink too much it could cause them to experience constipation and other abdominal problems. Alternate and healthful sources of calcium include yogurt with active cultures, fortified pure fruit juices, figs, and even sardines (though you may not want to combine them all for your next meal). It’s unfortunate we were raised to believe certain misconceptions like, “meat and potatoes are a man’s meal” or “yogurt is for girls.” Many of the foods we’ve grown up eating (the ones advertised everywhere as standard American fare) are some of the worst things we could be feeding our kids.

Babies and Younger Kids:

For very young infants ending their breastfeeding, parents may notice a bout with constipation occurring, especially if changing over to animal milk. It’s also important to realize—with many medications for children constipation is a side effect. That supposedly beneficial drug could be the cause of intestinal discomfort.

For young children exhibiting a habit of avoiding bowel movements, you can try training them to control their toilet activities, and not just when they’re transitioning from Pullups® to sit downs either. Choose certain times of the day for your child to sit on the toilet for about 10 minutes. Within a half-hour after meals are ideal. Have your kid sit on the toilet and relax for a few moments. Have them read a story or read to them to distract them. The point is to get the child relaxed enough so they can have a bowel movement without effort or discomfort. Eventually, the child should become adjusted to having their bowel movements at or near those times each day.

Many professionals agree having a reward system in place can greatly help your cause. When your child goes to the bathroom at the designated time, rather than fighting the natural urge, they can be rewarded with a favorite activity or prize (but avoid making food items the reward). Infant constipation should not be regarded lightly. Just because your child is “new” to the world doesn’t mean everything will function perfectly within their bodies all of the time. Regardless of the age of your children constipation can occur unless you begin training and educating them about digestive health as soon as possible.

In Children Constipation Can Have Lifelong Consequences

If, for your children constipation is still the norm after all these changes, your child’s case could be more severe in origin. Your kid could be suffering from chronic constipation. In this event, consult a qualified pediatrician or family health physician. You can help your doctor determine a solution if you keep a log of your child’s bathroom habits, including times, BM descriptions, and your child’s physical or emotional behavior on the toilet (such as straining, crying, or expressing discomfort).

Nevertheless, by changing the way your child views food, you can have a significant positive impact on their current and future health. So many of our modern chronic illnesses stem from poor eating habits, and this does not have to be accepted as “normal” or inevitable. Especially for children constipation doesn’t have to be tolerated. As a concerned and loving parent, you must educate your child well and often so they can ultimately achieve a more rewarding, healthy, and successful life.

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