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Know Constipation in Children, Relief Methods & Constipation Remedies


Child constipation is a common concern among parents, and its impact on a child's well-being should not be underestimated. Untreated constipation can cause discomfort, pain, and potential long-term complications. In this blog, we'll explore how to determine child constipation, identify its symptoms, and take necessary precautions in advance. Additionally, we will discuss various constipation remedies and constipation relief techniques that can provide constipation relief to children.


Understanding Child Constipation


A. Definition and Symptoms

Child constipation is characterised by infrequent bowel movements, difficulty passing stools, and the presence of hard and dry stools. It is essential to differentiate between constipation and normal variations in bowel movements. Common symptoms include abdominal pain, discomfort, and a feeling of incomplete bowel movements.


B. Causes and Risk Factors

Several factors contribute to child constipation. Poor dietary habits, inadequate hydration, lack of physical activity, and holding back bowel movements are some primary causes. Additionally, certain medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism or Hirschsprung's disease, and side effects of medications can increase the risk of constipation.


Identifying Constipation in Children


A. Communication and Observation

Open communication between parents and their child is crucial for identifying constipation. Encouraging children to express any discomfort or changes in their bowel habits can provide valuable insights into their digestive health. 


As a parent, it's important to create a supportive and non-judgmental environment where the child feels comfortable discussing sensitive topics like bowel movements. Engage in conversations about their overall well-being, ask open-ended questions, and actively listen to their concerns. By establishing good communication, you can better understand any issues they may be experiencing and address them promptly.


Observation is another key aspect of identifying constipation in children. Paying close attention to your kid's behaviour and physical cues can provide additional clues. Watch for signs of discomfort, such as frequent squirming, facial expressions of pain or strain, or changes in their daily routines. 


Children may exhibit behavioural changes when experiencing constipation, such as increased irritability or reluctance to engage in physical activities. By observing these subtle changes, you can gain insight into their digestive health and potential constipation issues.


B. Tracking Bowel Movements

Keeping track of your child's bowel movements is an effective way to monitor their digestive health and identify constipation. By noting the frequency, consistency, and ease of passing stools, you can gather valuable information to assess their bowel habits.

  1. Frequency: The frequency of bowel movements varies among children, depending on age, diet, and other factors. However, if your child constantly has fewer bowel movements than usual, it may indicate constipation. Note down the number of bowel movements per day or week to establish a baseline for their regular patterns.
  2. Consistency: Pay close attention to the consistency of your child's stools. Normal stools are soft, formed, and easy to pass. In constipation, stools become hard and dry, often resembling small pellets. If your child consistently passes hard, lumpy stools, it may indicate constipation.
  3. Ease of Passing Stools: Assess how comfortable your child appears when passing stools. In constipation, bowel movements may be accompanied by pain, straining, and a sense of incomplete evacuation. If your child exhibits signs of discomfort or pain during bowel movements, it could be an indication of constipation.


Taking Precautions and Promoting Healthy Bowel Habits


A. Dietary Interventions

A well-balanced diet is crucial in preventing constipation. Provide your child with a diet rich in fibre, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Fibre adds bulk to the stool, making it easier to pass. Additionally, ensuring adequate fluid intake is essential, as dehydration can contribute to constipation.


B. Encouraging Physical Activity

Regular physical activity stimulates bowel movements by promoting muscle contractions in the intestines. Encourage parents to incorporate age-appropriate exercises and activities into their child's routine. Activities like walking, running, swimming, and cycling can help promote healthy bowel habits.


C. Establishing a Regular Toilet Routine

Establishing a regular toilet routine is crucial for children. Parents should encourage their child to use the toilet at the same time each day, preferably after meals when the body's natural reflexes are more active. Creating a comfortable and relaxed environment during toilet time can help alleviate any anxiety or fear associated with bowel movements.


Constipation Remedies and Constipation Relief Techniques


A. Home Constipation Remedies

Several home constipation remedies can provide relief from constipation in children. Increasing fluid intake, particularly water, helps soften the stool and facilitate easier passage. Prune juice, known for its natural laxative properties, can also be beneficial. Additionally, gentle abdominal massage in a clockwise direction can help stimulate bowel movements.


B. Over-the-Counter Options

In some cases, over-the-counter options may be considered for constipation relief. Stool softeners and osmotic laxatives are commonly used. However, consult a healthcare professional before administering any medications, especially in the case of children. Proper dosage and precautions should be followed.


C. When to Seek Medical Attention

While most cases of constipation can be managed at home, there are instances where medical attention is necessary. Severe abdominal pain, prolonged constipation, blood in the stools, or other concerning symptoms should prompt parents to seek medical advice from a paediatrician or healthcare provider. These signs may indicate an underlying medical condition that requires further evaluation.




Recognizing child constipation and taking precautions in advance is vital for the well-being of children. By understanding the symptoms and causes of constipation, parents can actively promote healthy bowel habits through dietary interventions, physical activity, and establishing a regular toilet routine. 


Additionally, a range of home remedies and over-the-counter options can provide relief. However, seek medical attention when necessary. By adopting preventive measures and implementing appropriate remedies, parents can support their child's digestive health and overall well-being.

Dr. Neelam Mohan
Liver Transplant
Meet The Doctor
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