Constipation causes a lot of discomfort to children. A lot of factors are responsible for constipation among children.
Some of them are:
- Deliberate Withholding: Often children may consciously avoid visiting the toilet, which may make them feel constipated. This may be due to embarrassment, especially in public spaces or they might be too engaged in playing to not go to the toilet, altogether. Some children do it out of fear when a previous toilet experience has been particularly painful.
- Illness and Medication: Infections and illnesses, especially ones pertaining to the stomach cause the child to become constipated. Many medicines and supplements also affect the digestive system and can lead to constipation.
- Diet: This is the primary cause of constipation in children. If the child's diet has low water and fibre content and heavily features sugar and processed foods, stool becomes hard and bowel movement gets restricted.
Treatment for constipation in children:
Constipation in children is treated differently than in adults as their diets and patterns of bowel movement are dissimilar. The primary treatments for constipation in children are:
- Dietary Adjustment - Making changes to the child's diet by including high fibre foods (such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads, cereals, etc.) can help cure constipation. Compelling the child to intake ample fluids in the form of water or milk is also necessary. Sugary drinks must be avoided.
- Stool softeners and laxatives - The administration of bowel movement enhancing medication is the simplest way of treating constipation in children. There are various kinds of stool softeners and laxatives that are safe for children and must always be used under the supervision of a paediatrician.
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