Prevention is the best option

Constipation in children

Restrenyiment en nens

Constipation is a very common problem in childhood. It occurs when stools are very hard, dry, too large or very difficult to pass. It is also considered constipation when the child has passed stools less than three times in a week. Normally, this problem can be resolved by eating properly and exercising frequently.


Why does it happen?

Constipation can happen for different reasons:

  • A diet low in water and fibre, which means the intestines have to work harder to work normally.
  • Regularly eating foods high in fats and sugars
  • Some medication may cause constipation, such as those used to treat iron deficiency.
  • Sometimes, it happens when transitioning from breast milk to formula or when infants start to eat solids.
  • When children hold in the need to go to the toilet because they are having fun, playing or not at home.
  • Stress and anxiety can also affect regularity of passing faeces, causing constipation or diarrhoea 

Less commonly, constipation is a symptom of another illness. If you suspect this may be the case, you should see a doctor.


When should I go to A&E?

The head paediatrician will monitor children with constipation. There are, however, situations in which you should go to A&E.

  • A lot of abdominal pain
  • Blood in faeces
  • The infant is vomiting a lot and does not tolerate fluids or solids
  • The infant is distressed and complaining
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