Children With Constipation: What To Know

When your child is young, there are many obstacles to understanding the bathroom. From trying to potty train to learning what resources to use, it can get overwhelming. Most of this also comes from your child not always being able to communicate clearly what they are feeling. For adults with constipation, you can find the treatments and tools necessary to solve the problem. However, children do not necessarily understand what is happening because they don’t know what that is. 

If your child is having trouble in the bathroom, and you can’t figure out what is happening, it may be time to take them to the doctor. Our team at Carithers Pediatric Group has worked with children with constipation and helped them find comfort through the necessary treatment methods. First, we must educate parents on what this can look like. 

Children Can Experience Constipation Too 

It Is More Common Than You Think

In the United States, 1 in every 20 visits to the doctor for children is because of constipation. This is often signified by hard, dry, or difficult stools. The stools may also be infrequent. 

Understand What Normal Pooping Is 

To understand what abnormal pooping looks like, you must also understand what is normal for your child as well. The amount your child poops during the day is completely unique to them. Some children may go once a day, while others may poop after every meal. 

While the amount during the day is important to note, it is essential to pay attention to the consistency of the stool itself. This Pediatric Bristol Stool Form Scale For Children is a great resource for seeing what the softness of your child’s stool is considered. 

There Are Two Types of Constipation In Children 

What you may not know is that there are two different types. These are considered organic and functional constipation. Organic constipation is usually the result of a disease that is present. This type of constipation is not as common as functional constipation. 

‘Function constipation occurs when children either hold back the stool or have struggled with a gastrointestinal infection. This is the more common type and is often not associated with an identifiable cause, meaning there is no larger issue going on. 

What Parents Should Look Out For 

Besides the consistency of the stool, parents should also look out for anal fissures or fecal streaking. Anal fissures are caused by the solid stools passing uncomfortably and causing tears to the skin around the rectum. This can cause minor bleeding that is present when your child is going to the bathroom on the toilet paper after they wipe. 

On the other hand, fecal streaking is when chunks of stool can be seen on the underwear when your child has flatulence. Both can be a sign of constipation. 

There Are Multiple Treatment Methods 

Your doctor may have multiple recommendations on how to treat your child’s constipation. The main categories of treatment are as follows: 

  • Diet 
  • Hydration
  • Fiber 
  • Pre and Probiotics
  • Laxative Medicine 

This varies in intensity and will not be the same decision for every child. Some children can simply have diet changes that solve the problem, while others require a more intense approach involving things such as laxative medicine. You can discuss with your child’s doctor what the best decision is to move forward with solving your child’s constipation. 

Children with constipation can be uncomfortable and unable to express why. This information can help you decide if you think that is what is going on with your child. Do you think your child is struggling with constipation? Our team at Carithers Pediatric Group is here to help you find the right treatment to give an answer to your child’s discomfort. Visit our website or give us a call to schedule an appointment today! 

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Jacksonville, FL 32204



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