Adults already find it difficult to deal with constipation – what more with young children? Your child might not know what is happening and this condition can bother him greatly and cause much pain. As a responsible adult, you should be able to take care of your child’s needs and help them deal with this malady. Here is how to help a child who is constipated:
- Causes. First of all, you should know what makes children constipated. This can be caused by a lack of water and fluids, a fiber deficiency or eating too much of foods that cause constipation such as dairy products and some fruits like bananas and papayas. Mainly, you should take note of what your child eats and does not eat to be sure that you are child is afflicted with constipation because sometimes, different children experience it in different ways.
- Symptoms. What do you have to look out for if you think your child is constipated? Keep an eye on and monitor your child and see if they exhibit the symptoms of constipation which include intense cramping abdominal pain, either large and hard or pellet-like stool and infrequent but painful bathroom trips. More specifically, if your child has less than three bowel movements a week and each time has difficulty passing large stool, your young one is probably suffering from constipation.
- Eating the right food. Clearly, you are going to need to increase and decrease the intake of certain foods. Start off by making sure your child gets more water and fluids daily. Always keep a glass of water nearby. Next, start giving your child more high-fiber foods and drinks such as prune juice, graham crackers, whole wheat bread, bran cereal, fruits and veggies. Forego junk food such as candy and anything with refined sugars. You can substitute regular milk with soymilk as well.
- Proper bowel movement. Make sure you properly train your child on how to respond to bowel movement urges. The rule should be to make a beeline for the toilet whenever the urge comes. Train them to sit still while on the toilet. You could give them a book to read if they get antsy and restless. Make sure that your child’s feet can easily touch the ground. This will ensure that they can maintain their balance while sitting down.
- Medication. You can give your child laxatives and stool softeners, it will all depend upon your child’s age and medical history of course. Common constipation medications include milk of magnesia, mineral oil and malt soup extract. Consult your doctor before giving your child anything. Of course, if things get worse, you should go back to your doctor immediately to get more advice and guidance.
There is no reason to panic of your find out that your child is suffering from constipation. Yes, it will be quite painful for him or her and you will obviously be uncomfortable with your child being in so much distress. Follow the tips above and you should be able to help your child through it.