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Constipation in Children- Do’s and Don’ts

Constipation in Children- Do’s and Don’ts

The often misused term ‘constipation’ is a relative term which depends on the frequency, consistency and difficulty in passing stools. Passing soft stools every 2nd – 3rd day cannot be labelled as constipation. Children can have infrequent soft stools which is usually a normal pattern. True constipation in children can have various causes like functional, anatomic abnormalities, spinal cord anomalies, metabolic disorders, intestinal disorders and side effects of medications. Constipation is a vicious cycle as hard & large stools are difficult and painful to pass which leads to further retention of stools. If your child is truly suffering from constipation then here are some DO’s and DONT’s for you:

DO’s

  • Continue breastfeeding (if the child is on breastfeeds)
  • Give regular soft meals to the child as advised
  • Keep the child well hydrated
  • Increase the fibre content in the diet like fruits, vegetables, etc
  • Start toilet training by making the child sit on the pot at fixed time everyday
  • Visit your doctor
  • Give treatment as advised(if required)

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DONT’s

  • Do not panic if your child is thriving well
  • Don’t self medicate
  • Don’t try any manoeuvres at home
  • Don’t ignore the danger signs( bleeding per rectum, altered colour of stools, pain abdomen, etc)
  • Don’t stop breastfeeding
  • Don’t skip immunisation
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