Milk Of Magnesia Works Too
Many people also use milk of magnesia to treat constipation as it a form of laxative. It primarily functions by pushing water into the intestines, which triggers the bowel movements. But this is used for a short duration only. You can mix a spoonful of the powder with milk and feed it to your child. But try this remedy only after consulting with your childs paediatrician.
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How Is Constipation Diagnosed
The healthcare provider will ask about your childs symptoms and health history. He or she will give your child a physical exam. Depending on how old your child is, you might be asked questions such as:
- How old was your baby when he or she had their first stool?
- How often does your child have a bowel movement?
- Does your child complain of pain when having a bowel movement?
- Have you been trying to toilet train your toddler lately?
- What foods does your child eat?
- Have there been any stressful events in your child’s life lately?
- How often does your child poop in his or her pants?
Your childs provider may also want to do some tests to see if there are any problems. These tests may include:
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What To Do If Your Child Is Constipated
- By Claire McCarthy, MD, Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing
Constipation is a very common problem in children. Whether its something temporary after an illness or diet change, or something more chronic, up to 20% of children suffer from it at one time or another. As much as it makes people uncomfortable to talk about poop, having trouble pooping is even more uncomfortable. Luckily, it is generally a very treatable problem.
Remedies To Try At Home
There are several remedies you can try at home to manage your childâs constipation:
- Make sure your child is getting enough fluids. Most kids need about 3 to 4 glasses of water every day.
- Add more fiber into your childâs diet. Make sure they’re eating enough fruits, grains and vegetables. Fiber keeps things moving.
- Make sure your child isnât overdoing fast food and junk food. They slow down digestion.
- Limit sodas and tea. They have lots of caffeine in them.
- Get your child into the habit of regular bowel movements. Have them try for at least 10 minutes two times a day. After a meal is a good time.
If these things donât seem to do the trick, talk to your childâs doctor about using a mild, child-friendly laxative or stool softener.
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Precautions When Trying Home Constipation Remedies
Laxatives and enemas offer fast constipation relief in adults. However, dont give these to your infant or toddler. Only a doctor should recommend this.
You can safely give one to kids 4 years and older to soften stools and relieve constipation, though.
Always consult a doctor before giving children a laxative or enema. They can recommend a safe dosage.
How To Treat Your Childs Constipation
If you think your child may be constipated, take them to your GP. The treatment for constipation depends on your child’s age.
The longer your child is constipated, the more difficult it can be for them to get back to normal. Make sure you get help early.
Diet, lifestyle changes and laxatives are often recommended for children who are eating solid foods.
It may take several months for the treatments to work, but keep trying until they do.
Laxative treatment may make your child’s overflow soiling worse before it gets better.
When our child’s constipation has been treated, it’s important to stop it coming back. Your GP may recommend your child keeps taking laxatives for a while to make sure their poo stays soft enough to push out regularly.
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Should You See A Doctor About Constipation In Children
You should take your child to the GP if your child:
- needs a laxative more than a few times a year
- has constipation that doesnt get better after you give them a laxative
- hasnt done a poo for seven days
- poos in their pants without meaning to
- has constipation and also fever, vomiting, blood in their poo or weight loss
- has constipation and youre worried they arent eating or drinking enough.
When A Child Is Constipated
If you see your child struggling pass stool, its possible the he is constipated. When a child suffering from constipation is finally able to pass stool, it may be large and hard or even pellet-like. The American Academy of Pediatrics has published guidelines to help parents figure out if a child is constipated and needs medication.
Babies under six months
The average baby under six months has two to three bowel movements per day. But kids are all a little different, and having one to five stools per day is possible and normal. Formula-fed babies will have fewer bowel movements than breast-fed babies.
Babies between six and 12 months
Slightly older babies have an average of two bowel movements per day. But again, one to five stools per day is possible and normal.
Toddlers one to three years old
A toddler may have between one and three bowel movements per day. Some young children will have bowel movements as infrequently as every other day for a week or two without having problems.
Children over age three
One bowel movement per day is common for preschool-aged kids, but some kids will have two. Others will have a bowel movement every other day without any problems.
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How To Prevent Constipation
- Make sure your child has plenty to drink offer breastfed babies who are not eating solids yet plenty of breastfeeds. Formula-fed babies can have extra drinks of water between their formula feeds. See more advice on drinks for babies and toddlers.
- Give your child a variety of foods, including plenty of fruit and vegetables, which are a good source of fibre. See what to feed young children.
- Encourage your child to be physically active. For more information, read the physical activity guidelines for children aged under 5 years.
- Get your child into a routine of regularly sitting on the potty or toilet, after meals or before bed, and praise them whether or not they poo. This is particularly important for potty-trained boys, who may forget about pooing once they are weeing standing up.
- Make sure your child can rest their feet flat on the floor or a step when they’re using the potty or toilet, to get them in a good position for pooing. ERIC, The Children’s Bowel & Bladder Charity’s leaflet, Children’s Bowel Problems shows this position.
- Ask if they feel worried about using the potty or toilet some children do not want to poo in certain situations, such as at nursery or school.
- Stay calm and reassuring, so that your child does not see going to the toilet as a stressful situation you want your child to see pooing as a normal part of life, not something to be ashamed of.
Heres What You Can Do If Your Child Is Constipated
Speaking of checking in with your health care provider, you should call if your child has
- severe pain with stooling
- weight loss, or a noticeable drop in appetite
- vomiting along with the constipation
- a high fever along with the constipation
- constipation that isnt getting better despite dietary changes and other treatments.
Most of the time, though, it does get better. To learn more about constipation, visit healthychildren.org, the parent information website of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Follow me on Twitter @drClaire
About the Author
Claire McCarthy, MD, Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing
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How Can I Help My Child Live With Constipation
Constipation can be either short-term or long-term . Children with intestinal diseases may have chronic constipation problems. But in most cases, constipation is a short-term condition. If your child has chronic constipation, work with his or her healthcare provider. Together you can create a care plan that is right for your child.
What Helped The City Of Rome Become A Site Of Encounter
The correct answer is: ?the Mediterranean Sea?.
It was easy to conduct internal ship trade among Roman provinces, and also to undertake commercial activities with other Mediterranean civilizations such Phoenicians, in the North African coasts, or the Carthaginians.
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What Were The Major Areas Of Achievement For The Romans
10 Major Achievements of the Ancient Roman Civilization#1 It was one of the largest empires in history till that point.#2 The Roman arch became a foundational aspect of Western architecture.#3 Roman aqueducts are considered engineering marvels.#4 They built magnificent structures like the Colosseum and the Pantheon.
Constipation In Toddlers & Older Children
Constipation is fairly common in children, affecting up to 10% at any given time, though many dont seek medical attention.
Once a child is potty trained, parents might not be aware of whats going on behind closed doors and may not know their child is constipated. We consider a child to be constipated if he or she experiences pain or straining while passing a bowel movement, and/or has large, hard, dry stools with more than a day between bowel movements.
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How Can Constipation Cause A Vicious Cycle
Constipation often starts after 1 hard poo has caused pain. The natural response to a painful experience is to try and avoid or escape it in the future. So, the next time your child feels the urge to poo, they ‘hold on’ in an attempt to avoid passing another painful poo. This results in the poo becoming firmer, larger and even more painful to poo out and your child becomes even more reluctant to poo in the future.
This leads to a vicious cycle:
The key to stopping this cycle is making the poo soft again.
How To Treat Your Child’s Constipation
If you think your child may be constipated, take them to a GP. The treatment for constipation depends on your child’s age.
The longer your child is constipated, the more difficult it can be for them to get back to normal, so make sure you get help early.
Laxatives are often recommended for children who are eating solid foods, alongside diet and lifestyle changes.
It may take several months for the treatments to work, but keep trying until they do. Remember that laxative treatment may make your child’s overflow soiling worse before it gets better.
Once your child’s constipation has been dealt with, it’s important to stop it coming back. A GP may advise that your child keeps taking laxatives for a while to make sure their poo stays soft enough to push out regularly.
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Ginger And Honey Solution
Ginger is really helpful to treat the digestion problems.
Recipe of Making Ginger Honey Solution
This remedy is helpful for 1 years older children.
Bread Rice Potatoes Pasta And Other Starchy Foods
Starchy foods, such as bread, breakfast cereals, potatoes, yams, rice, couscous, pasta and chapattis provide energy, nutrients and some fibre.
You can give your child wholegrain foods, such as wholemeal bread, pasta and brown rice. But its not a good idea to only give wholegrain starchy foods to under-2s.
Wholegrain foods can be high in fibre and they may fill your child up before they have taken in the calories and nutrients they need. After age 2 you can gradually introduce more wholegrain foods.
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Beans Pulses Fish Eggs Meat And Other Proteins
Young children need protein and iron to grow and develop. Try to give your toddler 1 or 2 portions from this group each day.
Beans, pulses, fish, eggs, foods made from pulses and meat are excellent sources of protein and iron.
Nuts also contain protein, but whole nuts, including peanuts, shouldnt be given to children under 5 in case they choke.
Its recommended that boys have no more than 4 portions of oily fish a week, and girls no more than 2 portions a week.
This is because oily fish can contain low levels of pollutants that can build up in the body.
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What Causes Constipation In A Child
Stool gets hard and dry when the large intestine takes in too much water.
Normally, as food moves through the colon, the colon absorbs water while it makes stool. Muscle movements push the stool toward the rectum. When the stool gets to the rectum, most of the water has been soaked up. The stool is now solid.
If your child has constipation, the colons muscle movements are too slow. This makes the stool move through the colon too slowly. The colon absorbs too much water. The stool gets very hard and dry.
Once a child becomes constipated, the problem can quickly get worse. Hard, dry stools can be painful to push out. So the child may stop using the bathroom because it hurts. Over time, the colon will not be able to sense that stool is there.
There are many reasons why a child may become constipated. Some common diet and lifestyle causes include:
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How Is Constipation Treated
Mild constipation may be treated with dietary changes. Increased fiber in the diet along with normal water or fluid intake may soften the stools. Fruit juices made from prunes, apples, peaches and pears can be used due to their high sorbitol content. Sorbitol works as a mild osmotic laxative. It is important to note that most of the water we drink is reabsorbed in the colon and is not available to soften the stools therefore it is not necessary to drink tons of water. Learn more about the amount of water children should drink each day.Children with soiling or more severe constipation usually require medication. However, making changes in your childs diet at the same time may help wean them from medications more quickly. Getting children, especially toddlers, to change their diet may be a tough task but the extra effort will lead to happier symptom-free children.
What You Can Do
- Try not to give your child too much fiber, as it can cause tummy pain.
- If your childs diet is low in fiber, give them more fresh fruit and vegetables, cereals, rice, dried fruits, breads and dried fruit.
- Encourage your child to drink lots of fluids .
- Encourage your child to get enough exercise.
- Encourage your child to recognize their need to poo, even if they are busy playing.
- Encourage your child to let all their poo come outeach time they go to the toilet.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Constipation In A Child
Symptoms can occur a bit differently in each child. They may include:
Not having a bowel movement for a few days
Passing hard, dry stools
Having belly bloating, cramps, or pain
Not feeling hungry
Showing signs of trying to hold stool in, such as clenching teeth, crossing legs, squeezing buttocks together, turning red in the face
Small liquid or soft stool marks on a childs underwear
The symptoms of constipation can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
How Do Doctors Treat Constipation In Children
Your childs doctor may recommend giving your child an enema or laxative to help treat his or her constipation. Most laxatives are over-the-counter medicines taken by mouth until your childs bowel movements are normal. Your childs doctor may recommend stopping the laxative once your child has better eating and bowel habits. You should not give a child a laxative unless told to do so by a doctor.
If your child is taking an over-the-counter or prescription medicine or supplement that can cause constipation, your childs doctor may recommend stopping it, changing the dose, or switching to a different one. Talk with your childs doctor before stopping any medicines.
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