Constipation in children
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