How to Relieve Constipation in Kids?
When you’ve got the urge to go, there’s no stopping. However, when you find it difficult to make ‘it’ happen, it becomes a nightmare. Dealing with constipation as an adult itself is troublesome; just imagine what it’s like for a child. Here is some advice on how to help your child deal with constipation.
Constipation in Children
Constipation is common in children, and this includes kids of preschool age and, to a large extent, older children as well. A lot of factors can be responsible for constipation, like a lack of exercise, irregular meals and postponing the urge to go and use the toilet. Constipation can mean different things: passing large stools, hard stools and not having a frequent bowel movement.
Symptoms of Constipation in Children Might Include:
- No more than two bowel movements a week
- Hard stools
- Cramps in the lower abdomen
- Bleeding/Non-bleeding piles
- Anal fissure
Some Home Remedies That Might Help
If you don’t want to jump to stool softeners right away, you might like to attempt treating your child at home. We are listing out a few remedies for you:
We’d recommend a small tumbler of fresh fruit juice as it helps the bowel in evacuation because of sorbitol (a type of sugar). It results in softening of the stool, making it easier for your child to pass it out.
Massaging the Abdomen
For your little one, we’d suggest giving him/her a mild abdominal massage while also making sure that the child gets leg exercise, as this contributes significantly in helping the child pass stools.
More Water Intake
Ensure your child’s body is hydrated – this will help make the stool easier to pass. Your child has to drink water as much as possible, as this keeps constipation away.
Processed and high-fat foods can be a trigger for constipation in children. In order to get a diet rich in fiber, make sure you give your child lots of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.
If Plan A Doesn’t Work, then what is Plan B?
In case the natural methods don’t work, one has to rely on over-the-counter medications to relieve constipation. But, before you give your child any medication, it always helps and is recommended if you see a child specialist first. We are listing out few commonly used medical supplements-
Probiotics are mostly used for elderly patients and patients on strong antibiotics. It helps restore good bacteria in the gut, and the good bacteria improves the regularity of bowel movements. However, a probiotic may prove to be ineffective at times.
Suppositories are inserted into the rectum, and this helps stimulate the rectal muscles, further encouraging bowel movements. However, it can be uncomfortable for the child, and most of them wouldn’t like the process.
Laxatives are very effective when it comes to treating constipation that is chronic. A laxative basically ensures there’s fluid in the stool, so passing it becomes effortless. However, an abuse of laxatives is not good as it can cause stomach aches, diarrhea and nausea too. Please consult your family doctor before using laxatives.
We’d recommend natural ways of dealing with constipation, because making a habit out of medications can be unhealthy for your child’s long-term health.