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Causes of Constipation in Children

Written and reviewed by
Multi Speciality Clinic
Multi Speciality, pune  •  20 years experience
Causes of Constipation in Children

Many children are affected by constipation; for them, it usually implies pain while passing stool as the stools tend to be hard. In some cases, parents often tend to confuse soiling as diarrhea when it may actually indicate symptoms of impacted constipation (obstruction of faeces). In order to prevent constipation from turning into a chronic problem, make sure your child receives proper treatment at the earliest.

Symptoms of constipation:
Constipation in children can be characterized by its symptoms which are:

  1. Your child will experience difficulty in passing stools
  2. He/she may also experience pain during the process; trace amounts of blood may be present on the nappy.
  3. The stool tends to be large in size and hard by nature
  4. The child may not have normal bowel habits; he may pass stools less than the normal number of times.
  5. Loss of appetite
  6. He/she may experience intense pain in the stomach
  7. This condition may cause sudden changes in behavior; your child may become irritated or unhappy very easily.
  8. He/ she may experience nausea
  9. The child may also often soil his/her clothes by passing feces at irregular intervals

Causes of constipation in children:

Constipation in children may be caused due to a number of factors, which are:

  1. Withholding of stool: In some cases, your child may try to forcefully hold back bowels every time he/she may want to go to the toilet. This may happen due to reasons such as lack of toilet training or not wanting to use toilets at certain places.
  2. Diet: A diet devoid of fiber may be the cause behind your child's constipation. Also, not drinking enough water throughout the day may cause the stools to harden, thus causing difficulty while passing them. The fiber content in food adds roughage to the diet and thus, helps in facilitating smooth bowel movements.
  3. Psychological problems: Constipation may also be caused due to certain emotional problems and drawbacks, such as certain fears or phobias. An example would be when the child feels the need to go to the toilet at night, but withholds it if he/she has a fear of ghosts. A change in the surroundings such as moving to a new place may also cause bowel problems in your child. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a doctor.
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