Kids are susceptible to a number of medical problems, including digestive issues like constipation. Usually, constipation is a temporary concern. However, since it might be caused by underlying health problems like Hirschsprung disease or bowel obstructions, you can take your child into a walk-in clinic for a physical exam and medical guidance. Occasionally, children with fecal impaction will need an enema. Otherwise, the same lifestyle modifications that can treat constipation can also prevent it.
It’s common for young children to experience constipation during potty training. If you toilet train before your child is ready for it, he or she may rebel by trying to hold in stool. This can become a long-term habit that’s hard to break. Your physician might advise you to back off from potty training for the time being. When you do resume potty training, keep the process as positive and stress-free as possible for your child. Even after your child has mastered the use of a toilet, you may need to remind him or her about using the bathroom at regular intervals, especially when your child is engrossed in play.
Inadequate fiber intake is another common cause of constipation. The physician can provide age-appropriate nutrition guidance. In general, children from the ages of one through 18 should get 14 to 31 grams of fiber each day. Here’s a quick look at the fiber content of common foods:
- A small apple, with skin: 3.6 grams
- Half cup of shredded wheat cereal: 2.7 to 3.8 grams
- Half cup of cooked kidney or pinto beans: 6.2 to 9.6 grams
Increase your child’s intake of fiber gradually to avoid stomach bloating and discomfort. It can be helpful to encourage selective eaters to eat healthy foods by not saying the word “healthy.” Instead, talk about how delicious the food is. You can also try arranging healthy foods in creative ways on the plate, such as by making a face out of apple slices and dried prunes.
Water consumption is essential for preventing and treating constipation. Some children resist drinking plain water. Consider giving your child a cartoon-themed water bottle that isn’t see-through. Milk is also healthy, but too much dairy can contribute to constipation.
For pediatric medical care near Orlando, your family can trust the caring providers at Paramount Urgent Care. We offer therapeutic and preventive pediatric care, including physicals, shots, and screenings. For more information, please visit www.paramounturgentcare.com.