Constipation in children is a growing world problem. It is usually defined as the passage of hard and painful stools or going four or more days without a bowel movement. Constipation occurs commonly in children, affecting up to 10% at any given time. Still, only 3% of parents actually seek advice from the doctor for this condition. Children usually tend to resist the urge of bowel movement in order to prevent the pain. This, however, worsens the condition. Nipping constipation in the bud is very important, because as the child grows, it might compound to several complicated forms.
Constipation rarely occurs in young babies yet some breastfed babies may not open their bowels more than once in ten days because the milk they absorb produces very little waste. For some children, it is quite normal to pass stools after every few days. However, children who are bottle fed mostly tend to suffer from constipation. There are also a number of other factors that are responsible for triggering this condition.
Low fiber diet, medications or drugs, anatomic abnormalities, Down's syndrome, diabetes etc. are some of the conditions that are responsible for constipation.
Following are some of the things that might help you in dealing with your child's constipation problems:
1) Include adequate amounts of fiber and fluid in your child's diet. Changing your child's diet is also important. You might have to give laxatives to your child in order to soften the stool for easy bowel movements.
2) If your child is still an infant then increase the child's intake of fluid such as fruit juices, water etc. If your infant is old to eat solids then feed your child with fiber rich foods such as spinach, cereals etc.
3) Encourage your child to exercise daily. This will ease the bowel movement. Also teaching your children to go to the bathroom the moment they feel the urge to have a bowel movement.
4) Help your child to sit in the toilet in a comfortable position. Teach them to sit for at least 10 minutes everyday almost at the same timing. If your child finds uncomfortable sitting in the toilet then get them a stool which will allow them to sit comfortably.
5) Applying a bit of petroleum jelly around the anus can also help in lubricating which will ease the bowel movement causing less pain.
Other than these, the parents can also help the children by encouraging them to involve in activities which will help them relax during the potty training. If the condition becomes chronic then the best way out is to consult a pediatrician.