Pediatric Constipation

Pediatric Constipation

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Summary

Constipation in children is a common, yet painful, condition in which the child has difficulty having bowel movements.

Expanded overview

When a child is constipated, a stool stays in their colon for too long. When this happens, the colon absorbs the fluid from the stool, which hardens the stool and makes it difficult to pass.

Children with constipation often experience:

  • Bowel movements with dry, hard or small stools
  • Less than two bowel movements in a week

Causes

Constipation can occur due to a variety of reasons, including not enough fiber in the child’s diet or side effects from the child’s medication.

Symptoms

Symptoms of constipation include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Fecal impaction (large amount of stool in rectum) leaking into child’s underwear
  • Uncontrolled urination (urinary incontinence)
  • Posture changes
  • Blood in stool
  • Constipation lasting longer than two weeks
  • Fever
  • Not responsive to oral constipation medicine
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss

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