Constipation is a common problem in both kids, and it affects millions of kids every year. According to a study, almost 18% of toddlers and 14% of kids and teens suffer from constipation. It can be caused by various factors, including diet, lifestyle, and medication.
Fortunately, constipation is usually short-lasting, and once you’ve determined the source of your child’s constipation, you will be able to assist them in returning to normal bowel motions.
This article will discuss 8 common causes of constipation in kids. We will also provide tips on how to prevent and treat constipation.
How to Diagnose Constipation in Kids?
Diagnosis of Constipation in kids depends on evaluating the child’s bowel habits. A physician will examine your child for symptoms and perform a rectal examination to look for abnormal, impacted stool, such as hard or large size, that indicates severe constipation. The physician can also do an X-ray if necessary.
8 common Causes of Constipation in Kids
Here are the most common reasons for constipation in your kids:
1- Processed foods
Processed foods are one of the main causes of constipation in kids. These foods are loaded with unhealthy fats, sugar, and salt, which can slow down digestion and cause constipation.
If you want to prevent your child from developing constipation, make sure to limit their intake of processed foods and replace them with whole, unprocessed foods.
2- Not enough Fiber
A lack of fiber is another common cause of constipation in kids. Fiber helps to keep the bowels moving and prevents constipation.
To ensure your child gets enough fiber, make sure to include plenty of high-fiber foods in their diets, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
3- Lack of Exercise
Kids who don’t get enough exercise are also more likely to develop constipation. Exercise helps to stimulate the bowels and encourages regular bowel movements.
Make sure your child gets plenty of exercises, especially if they’re struggling with constipation.
4- Dairy Products
Many kids are sensitive to dairy products, and consuming too much dairy can lead to constipation.
If your child is struggling with constipation, try eliminating dairy from their diet and see if that makes a difference.
Dehydration is another common cause of constipation in kids. When the body is dehydrated, it can’t function properly, leading to constipation.
Make sure your child drinks plenty of water and other fluids every day to avoid dehydration and subsequent constipation.
Stress can also lead to constipation in kids. When kids are stressed, they often don’t eat or drink enough, leading to constipation.
If your child is stressed, try to find ways to help them relax and reduce their stress levels. This may include relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation.
Some medications can also cause constipation in kids. If your child is taking any medications and has constipation problems, talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.
8- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome is a condition that causes the intestines to become inflamed and can lead to constipation.
If your child is struggling with constipation and you suspect they may have IBS, talk to your doctor about getting them tested for the condition.
Preventing and treating constipation in Kids
Here are some tips on how to prevent and treat constipation in kids:
Offer your child high-fiber foods
Fiber is important to help your child get regular bowel movements and prevent constipation. Make sure your child consumes plenty of high-fiber foods, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Avoid refined sugars: Refined sugars are generally empty calories that only exacerbate constipation by slowing down digestion.
Encourage them to drink plenty of fluids
Many constipated kids don’t consume enough water and other fluids, which can cause dehydration. Drinking plenty of fluids can help rehydrate your child and prevent constipation.
Create a toilet routine
If your child is struggling with constipation, encourage them to follow a strict routine for pooping. For example, get them up simultaneously and take them to the bathroom every hour. Make it an established routine if you don’t want your child to depend on you.
Remind your child to heed nature’s call
Kids have much less tolerance for constipation than adults do, so if your child does not pass a bowel movement within the first 12 to 24 hours of constipation, you will likely need to take them to the doctor.
Some medications cause constipation, so your child needs to talk to their doctor about possible alternatives.
Encourage physical activities
Kids who are not getting enough physical activity can also be at risk for constipation. If your child isn’t exercising or playing soccer, encourage them to find a way to make sure they get plenty of exercise.
When to see a doctor?
Constipation in children is usually not dangerous. On the other hand, chronic constipation may lead to problems or indicate an underlying disease. If your child’s constipation persists for more than two weeks or is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, see a doctor:
- Blood in the stool
- Severe pain when passing stools
- Swelling or pain in the stomach
- Weight loss
Visit MyPedia Clinic in Dubai Now
In case your kid is facing Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or constipation due to any reason, MyPedia Clinic is the right place for you. Our clinic offers complete diagnosis and treatment for IBS, including dietary counseling and medication therapy. We also offer psychological support to help kids cope with the condition. Schedule an Appointment now!