Constipation is a common problem in children, and in most cases, it does not cause for alarm. However, there are times when constipation does not resolve with home remedies and your child needs to see a pediatrics specialist for care. If your child is experiencing constipation, here is what you need to know.
Recognize the Symptoms
Often, kids will report to their parents that they are experiencing pain when they are going to the bathroom, which can be the first indicator of constipation. Passing hard stools may be painful to your child, which suggests he or she is constipated. In some cases, children who are constipated actually seem to have diarrhea, as liquid waste moves around a blockage that is associated with constipation. In other instances, you may notice on your own that your child seems to be going to the bathroom less. This may be caused by withholding stool, which occurs when your child attempts to avoid having a bowel movement, often because of a previously painful experience. Withholding stool triggers a painful cycle of constipation.
Consider Dietary Remedies
If your child complains of constipation, often making a few simple dietary changes can help. Encourage your child to drink plenty of water, and serve a high-fiber diet that includes whole grains, beans, and probiotic yogurts. Frequently, making these dietary changes will ease constipation and encourage a healthier digestive process.
Talk to a Pediatrician
A pediatrics specialist should evaluate constipation that doesn’t respond to dietary treatments or that recurs. Dr. Howard Baron of Sunrise Children’s Hospital explains in this video that treatment for constipation for children should begin in the primary care pediatrician’s office, who may then order a referral to a pediatrics gastroenterologist as needed. Doctors may suggest stool softeners, laxatives, or in severe cases, an enema, to help kids with persistent constipation get well.
Parents can rely on the care their kids get from Sunrise Children’s Hospital, from basic preventative pediatrics in Las Vegas to children’s emergency care . If you’re concerned about your child’s symptoms, call us at (702) 233-5437 to speak to a nurse and ask for a physician referral.