Childhood Constipation are Parents’ Nightmare
Childhood constipation characterized by stomach pains, difficulty of bowel movement and several days passing between such movements is one of the nightmares of parents because of the pain a child goes through while suffering from it. However, there is also hidden childhood constipation which parents may fail to recognize as they are more symptomatic of diarrhea.
Normally, children have one to three bowel movements daily or weekly; it varies from one child to the next which is why it is rather difficult for parents to monitor their children. It is best to establish your child’s bowel movements and keep a record of it so that you have baseline data available as a reference, just in case.
More often than not, the cause of childhood constipation is the lack of fluid intake or insufficient fiber in their diet. It can also be the result of putting off going to the bathroom because a child is too busy playing or the aversion to use toilets away from home. What most parents are unaware of is that there are also illnesses that can cause constipation in children although most of these are rare and are characterized by other symptoms.
Immediate and timely treatment of childhood constipation is very important because of the pain it causes in the lower area of the stomach or the child’s rectum. Untreated, the skin around your child’s anus can tear when the child tries to force out large, hard stools. These can be very painful and often bleed. Another complication of untreated childhood constipation is encopresis â€“ the leaking of stool from the rectum due to a mass of hard stool that causes the anus to remain slightly open.
It can also cause children to wet their pants because of the undue pressure on the bladder which may even develop to urinary tract infection.
Prevention and treatment of childhood constipation
The best way to educate your child to prevent childhood constipation is to teach your child good toilet habits. Teach your child to develop the habit of sitting on the toilet regularly for about 10 minutes even if there is no immediate urge to have a bowel movement. Do not worry if your child dos not learn immediately, children normally learn to control their bowels only when they are almost 4 years old but it is good practice to get them started as early as possible.
Improve your child’s diet by encouraging your child to drink plenty of fluids.
Be sure to add a good amount of fiber to your child’s diet by making eat fruit, vegetables and wheat bread or high fiber content cereals like bran cereal, shredded wheat, whole-grain cereal and oatmeal.
If symptoms of childhood constipation are still evident, then you should take your child to see a pediatrician.
Simple prevention may be enough to prevent childhood constipation and keep your child from suffering the pain and you from going out of your head in finding out the best way to help your child go through with the condition.