6 Signs You Should Be Worried About Your Child's Constipation
As an adult, passing stool should be an effortless process. It should not make you feel uncomfortable. Now try imagining how a constipated child feels. Like adults, kids also risk developing bowel obstructions due to persistent, consistent constipation. While you can relieve your child's constipation agony by including a high-fibre diet or taking medications to loosen stool, they can still develop chronic constipation if you do not do anything about it.
Schedule a visit to a pediatrician and dietician if your child develops the following signs for constipation complications:
1. Constipation that comes with other worrying symptoms
If you notice that your constipating child also manifests symptoms such as nausea, fever, and stomach cramps, they could have developed severe digestive problems. If you have tried probiotic supplements for toddlers and have not worked, visit your pediatrician immediately.
2. Signs of blood in stool
Blood in the stool could be indicative of rectum or digestive problems. Your young one could have eaten something potentially dangerous, leading to stool with blood. Please do not
3. Delayed growth and weight loss
Kids experiencing chronic constipation due to irritable bowel syndrome might lose weight or delayed growth. Regular clinic visits can help you determine if your kid's weight is normal or needs an intervention.
4. Bloated belly
Kids need to expel stool from their bowels to avoid bloating or other digestive issues. Be worried if your child's belly is swollen due to constipation.
5. Constipation since infancy
Constipation that has occurred since infancy could indicate that their digestive systems have been infected.
6. Loss of appetite
Constipation that comes with a loss of appetite signifies that your child's digestive system is not working as it should. Your child feels full and does not see the need to eat because they have not expelled stool from their rectum.
Why your child is constipating
Children experience constipation when they struggle to expel hard and dry stool. Sometimes, the stool might not come out at all. Constipation can be caused by:
Some kids will hardly respond to a call of nature if it distracts them from doing what they love. A child watching TV or playing out with friends might withhold pooping until it is too late. Over time, their bowels accumulate excess stool, which may be difficult to expel.
- Dietary change
If your child is fond of taking too much liquid only to switch to solids, there is a good reason they will get constipated. To avoid this, introduce foods rich in high fiber including vegetables, grains, and fruits. Additionally, you can include products with probiotic properties, such as plain yogurt.
- Toilet training too early
Some parents potty-train kids as early as one year to avoid expenses associated with diapers. As a result, the child might withhold pooping until the time is right. Such a trend might cause your child to avoid pooping and increase their risk for bowel problems. If you have already toilet-trained your child, encourage them to pass stool whenever they feel the urge instead of confining them to do it at a particular time.
- Allergy to cow milk and lactose intolerance
Some kids do not process cow milk in their bodies due to lactose intolerance or allergy. If you notice your child develops an allergy immediately after taking cow milk, it would be best to stop providing them with dairy products.
- A family medical history of constipation
If constipation runs in your family, there are high chances of your child developing the condition. Please don't assume it is normal because it is in your medical records. Reduce your child's risk for bowel-related diseases once you notice they have difficulty passing stool.
- Some medications
Some kids may start constipating after taking certain medications, such as antidepressants. If this describes your child's situation, consult your pediatrician for further advice.
Your child does not have to live with constipation
Acute constipation can stop after taking precautionary measures. If it persists, consider seeing a medical expert. As you ponder whether to take this constipation quiz or examine your child's behavior when it comes to constipation, find out if taking over-the-counter medications or improving their diet through probiotic supplements can boost your child's gut health. Once you find answers to your questions, consult a pediatrician or your child's dietician to guide your actions.