Constipation can be painful, stressful and embarrassing for children and affects parents as well. If your child is struggling with constipation, it’s not alone.
Constipation is defined as the presence of infrequent bowel movements or hard stools. According to the National Institute of Health, less than three bowel movements a week for at least two weeks can be classified as constipation. While it may or may not be accompanied by pain.
Talk to your pediatrician if your child’s constipation lasts more than two weeks or is accompanied by fever, vomiting, bloating or blood in the stool.
What causes constipation?
In many cases, constipation develops because children are afraid or ashamed to go to the toilet when they are at school or at a friend’s house, or simply do not want to stop what they are doing. And this repeated delay causes constipation.
But there are other causes, such as consuming less fruit and vegetables, less exercise and consuming more sugary drinks, which can burden the digestive function. Not drinking enough water can also cause constipation, as adequate hydration helps transport food through the digestive tract.
What can you do to do to relieve your child’s constipation
Make sure the child is adequately hydrated
Water is best for hydration and plays an important role in treating constipation.
Give the child foods rich in fiber
Fiber gives volume to the stools, making it easier for the digestive system to move. Choose whole grains, vegetables and fruits, which contain insoluble fiber.
Give your child time to go to the bathroom
Try to leave enough time after breakfast for your child to use the toilet before leaving for school. Sometimes children have no desire to go until 30 to 60 minutes after their meal.
Encourage your child to do at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day
Exercise not only benefits your child’s overall health, but can also improve digestion.