Young Children And Constipation

Constipation in children especially in toddlers can be traumatic. The stool becomes hard causing severe pain. Learn how to help without using suppositories and enemas.

Have you ever gone through the anguish of watching your toddler scream in pain during a bowel movement? Feeling helpless when your child is suffering is one of the worst feelings a parent can experience. Constipation though a common condition in both children and adults, can become extremely painful for a young child. It's difficult for toddlers to understand what's going on; they just know that they're hurting.

If your child is experiencing painful bowel movements it's time to see your pediatrician for a check up. You may be advised to use suppositories or enemas. Even though these are good remedies they are an added frustration for the child. You can't explain to two-year-olds why you have to insert a suppository into their rectum.

A person's stool will become extremely hard after going four days without a bowel movement. Every adult at some time has experienced degrees of constipation. Severe constipation can cause an adult to cry during a bowel movement. Imagine a two-year-old child going through this pain with no understanding of what's happening. A parent trying to insert a suppository into the child's rectum is seen by the child as a bad mommy or a bad daddy. You can't expect a two-year-old to understand this, or expect them to not be upset with you. They only know that you're making their booboo hurt more. If you ever watch a child go through this situation, parent or not, it'll bring tears to your eyes. If you're a parent whose child is experiencing constipation of this severity or know someone's child who is, please continue reading this article to learn how you can help with this problem.

·When Should You Become Concerned?

When a child isn't having normal bowel movements.

If a child cries or strains excessively when moving their bowels.

When there is no bowel movement for two days.

·What Can You Do?

If the child doesn't have a bowel movement in two days and doesn't have any medical conditions that prevent the ingesting of olive oil, you can give the child ½ teaspoonful. Always have children's suppositories and enemas in your medicine cabinet for emergencies. Lubricate the child's rectum with Vaseline and try to insert a suppository. Tell the child what you're going to do before doing it. It'll be much easier to get a child to let you insert a suppository or enema before the constipation starts to make them feel uncomfortable. And you shouldn't wait any longer than two days because the longer you wait the harder the stool will become and the more painful the bowel movement will be. Hopefully your child will have a bowel movement after using one of the two. If it doesn't happen take your child to your pediatrician right away.

After the bowel movement avoid giving the child any heavy foods for at least a day. If this is an ongoing problem you will want to make an appointment with your pediatrician. Use the following ideas to help maintain your child regular.

·Things to Avoid

Too many foods that are heavy to digest

Too many simple carbohydrates

Insufficient water intake

Sugary cereals that contain no fiber

Dehydrated fruits

·Things to Help Maintain Regular Bowel Movements

Make sure that your child eats cereals that are high in fiber, whole-wheat, oat bran and multi-grain cereals are very good in aiding regularity.

Increase fruits and vegetables

Increase your child's water intake

Many parents have used natural mineral oil with good results, using ½ a teaspoon daily to increase lubrication of the colon and to help soften the stool. But, some pediatricians prefer the use of olive oil because mineral oil can prevent the absorption of nutrients.

Even though pediatricians can prescribe medicated oral stool softeners and oral laxatives. It's always a better idea to use natural remedies to keep your child regular than using drug prescriptions. You can make a natural laxative by combining three fresh apricots, two prunes, and one cup of water. Simmer until very soft. Allow to cool and give your child approximately ¼ cup in the evening, this will cause complete bowel evacuation the following day. This is NOT meant to be used daily as this is a laxative. You can use in very small amounts on a weekly basis to aid in softening without it having the strength of a laxative. I always recommend that you speak to your pediatrician if your child has a persisting constipation problem and before using anything for constipation that you may have doubts about.

Children who suffer from regular constipation and who must submit to painful bowel movements, suppositories, and enemas can become frightened of moving their bowels. They learn that going to the potty hurts and may refuse to try or fight the urge even after becoming regular.

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