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ConstipationCConstipationConstipationEnglishGastrointestinalChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)Large Intestine/ColonLarge intestine;RectumConditions and diseasesAdult (19+)Constipation2019-05-16T04:00:00ZBeth Gamulka, MD, and SickKids Constipation Working Group;Behnaz Mahmoodian, MD8.1000000000000062.20000000000001297.00000000000Health (A-Z) - ConditionsHealth A-Z<p>Find out about the different causes of constipation and how you can help your child relieve it with diet, toilet training and/or medicines.</p><h2>What is constipation? </h2><p>Constipation is an abnormal pattern of bowel movements that causes a person to pass harder and smaller stools (poo), less often than usual. Constipation makes passing stools uncomfortable. In more extreme cases, there may be <a href="/Article?contentid=3&language=English">soiling</a> (encopresis).</p><p>Everyone has a different bowel pattern. A normal frequency of stools can vary from several times a day to once every few days. If your child's stools have become harder, smaller or the pattern has slowed down, they may be constipated.</p><p>Constipation can occur over days, weeks or months or it can occur during a change in routine such as <a href="/Article?contentid=636&language=English">toilet training</a>, starting school, having a new sibling, going on holiday or having a change in diet.</p><p>With constipation, stool may build up in the bowels over time. This build-up can cause stomach cramps and pain, but the symptoms of constipation may go unrecognized for a long time. For children who have been constipated for a long time, retraining the bowel and returning it to normal can take many months or sometimes even years.</p><p>Remember: Constipation can still happen even if a child is having a bowel movement every day.</p><h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>Constipation means bowel movements that are less frequent than usual, painful or hard to pass.</li><li>Constipation can be caused by inadequate fluids or fibre in the diet, a change in bowel routines or medicines.</li><li>Genetics may play an important role in your child’s bowel patterns.<br></li><li>Changes in your child's diet may improve constipation.</li><li>Your child's doctor may also suggest giving medicine such as stool softeners to clear the bowel.</li><li>See your doctor if your child has blood in their stool, is having accidents with bowel movements or has a fever or severe abdominal pain and vomiting.</li></ul><h2>What causes constipation?</h2><p>In most children, constipation is caused by issues with bowel routines or diet. Some common causes of constipation are:<br></p><ul><li>not drinking enough fluids</li><li>not having enough fibre from whole grains or cereals, fruits and vegetables</li><li>eating too much junk food or other foods that promote constipation</li><li>withholding stools to avoid painful bowel movements if there are small tears (fissures) at the bowel opening (anus)</li><li>genetics - some children inherit a tendency toward constipation from their parents</li><li>poor bowel routines, problems with toilet training and sometimes refusing to spend time on the toilet.</li></ul><p>Some children may have a fear of public bathrooms or bathrooms at school. Other children simply prefer to keep playing rather than go to the bathroom when they feel the urge to have a bowel movement. Instead, they 'hold back', causing a build-up of stool.</p><p>Other less common causes of constipation are:</p><ul><li>illnesses that cause <a href="/Article?contentid=746&language=English">vomiting</a> or <a href="/Article?contentid=30&language=English">fever</a> and lead to a loss of body fluids and <a href="/Article?contentid=776&language=English">dehydration</a></li><li>some medicines such as morphine</li><li>underactive thyroid gland (<a href="/Article?contentid=2309&language=English">hypothyroidism</a>)</li><li> <a href="/article?contentid=830&language=English">Hirschsprung's disease</a>, a disease of the bowel that is usually diagnosed in the first few weeks of life</li></ul><h2>How to care for your child with constipation</h2><p>In some children, constipation can be relieved by making diet and lifestyle changes. Once constipation starts, it can last a long time. Treatment is long-term and requires patience, co-operation and commitment from family members and from the school.</p><h3>Diet in children less than one year old</h3><p>Babies under two months old generally do not have constipation. Talk to your child's doctor before you make any changes to your baby's milk or formula or give any medicine to treat constipation.</p><p>If your baby is under four months old, you may consider giving 1 ounce (30 mL) of apple, pear or prune juice once or twice a day.</p><p>Once your baby is more than four months old, try giving high-fibre, strained foods. These include apricots, beans, cereals, peaches, pears, peas, plums or prunes.</p><h3>Diet in children over one year old</h3><p>Give your child plenty of fluids, especially water.</p><p>Make sure your child eats fruits and vegetables every day. Canada's Food Guide recommends that children have four to six servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Some good examples are apples, apricots, beans, blueberries, brocolli, cabbage, cauliflower, dates, figs, lettuce, peas, pears, prunes and raisins. Avoid any foods that could cause <a href="/Article?contentid=1039&language=English">choking</a> in younger children.</p><p>Take steps to increase the amount of <a href="/Article?contentid=964&language=English">fibre</a> in your child's diet. Have your child eat bran every day. It is high in fibre and is a natural stool softener. There are many sources of bran to choose from. Try bran cereals, bran muffins, whole wheat or multigrain bread, graham crackers or oatmeal. If your child is older than four years of age, popcorn is another great fibre source.</p><p>Some foods are known to cause constipation. You may wish to limit them in your child's diet. Examples include low-fibre foods such as white rice or bread, and junk food such as chips and pop. Filling up on too much dairy may also contribute to constipation. Diet changes are most successful when the entire family follows these healthy choices.</p><h3>Toilet training</h3><p>Two or three times a day, 20-30 minutes after each meal, have your child spend at least five minutes on the toilet or the potty. Even if there is no bowel movement, you are helping to set a pattern. You might find it helpful to use a calendar to reinforce the schedule. Younger children may like stickers they can put on a chart for sitting on the toilet after a meal.</p><p>Your child should be comfortable, with the knees up. A foot rest can prevent your child's legs from hanging down. It will also keep the knees bent, which helps bowel movements pass more easily.</p><p>If you are having problems with toilet training and your child is holding back stool, you may need to delay toilet training until the constipation is successfully treated.</p><h3>Regular physical activity</h3><p>Exercise or physical activity can help keep the bowels moving. Children ages one to four need 180 minutes (3 hours) <a href="/Article?contentid=642&language=English&hub=mentalhealth">regular physical activity</a> each day. Children ages five or older need 60 minutes (1 hour) of physical activity.</p><h3>Medicines</h3><p>If a change in diet does not relieve your child's constipation, talk to your child's doctor.</p><p>Some children with constipation will not respond to diet and toilet routine changes alone and will need medicine.</p><p>The most effective medicines for constipation are stool softeners. These work by drawing water into the bowel to 'flush' out the stool. The most commoly used medicine is <a href="/Article?contentid=219&language=English">polyethylene glycol (PEG 3350)</a>. Polyethylene glycol is safe for children and can be used long-term. Many brands are available without a prescription and it is tasteless when fully dissolved in a drink.</p><p>For children who are severely constipated, higher doses of medicines are often needed at first to clean out backed-up stool and provide relief from the pain linked to constipation. You can then adjust the dose so your child has at least one soft stool every day.</p><p>Avoid using suppositories or enemas when possible. Only use suppositories or enemas if your child's doctor has suggested them.</p><p>Do not be afraid to give your child long-term medicine under your doctor's supervision to help treat their constipation. The bowels do not become dependent on PEG 3350 and will not become lazy. Routine emptying of the bowel is important for overall bowel health.</p><h2>When to see your child's doctor for constipation</h2><p>See your child's doctor if your child:</p><ul><li>is generally affected by poor bowel movements</li><li>has blood in the stool</li><li>has a <a href="/Article?contentid=30&language=English">fever</a></li><li>is urinating (peeing) often or finds urinating painful</li><li>starts to soil underwear</li><li>loses weight</li><li>wakes up from sleep to pass stool</li><li>complains of abdominal pain </li></ul><h3>Take your child to the nearest Emergency Department if:</h3><ul><li>your child develops severe abdominal pain</li><li>your child is vomiting (throwing up) repeatedly or vomiting dark green</li><li>your child's abdomen (belly) becomes swollen</li></ul>
便秘便便秘ConstipationChineseSimplifiedGastrointestinalChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)Large Intestine/ColonLarge intestine;RectumConditions and diseasesAdult (19+)Constipation2019-05-16T04:00:00ZBeth Gamulka, MD, and SickKids Constipation Working Group;Behnaz Mahmoodian, MDFlat ContentHealth A-Z<p>阅读本文,了解导致便秘的不同原因,学习如何通过饮食、如厕训练和/或药物帮助孩子缓解便秘。</p><h2>什么是便秘?</h2><p>便秘是指排便模式发生异常,便秘者会排出较硬、较小的粪便,排便次数也会减少。便秘者在排便时会感到不适。便秘极为严重时,还可能出现<a href="/Article?contentid=3&language=ChineseSimplified">渗便</a>。</p><p>每个人的排便习惯都不相同。正常的排便频率从一天数次到几天一次不等。如果您注意到孩子的粪便变硬、变小或排便次数减少,孩子可能受到便秘困扰。</p><p>便秘可能持续数天、数周或数月,也可能在作息发生改变时(例如进行<a href="/Article?contentid=636&language=ChineseSimplified">如厕训练</a>、开始上学、弟弟妹妹的降生、外出度假或饮食调整)出现。</p><p>随着时间推移,粪便可能会在便秘者的肠道中积聚,并可能导致胃痉挛或胃痛,但便秘者或许很长时间都不会留意到自己的便秘症状。儿童如长期便秘,重新训练并恢复正常的排便习惯可能需要数月甚至数年。</p><p>请记住:即使孩子每天排便,也可能发生便秘。</p><h2>要点</h2><ul><li>便秘,指的是排便次数较平时减少,排便时有疼痛感或排便困难。</li><li>导致便秘的原因,可能是未能摄入足够水分或纤维,排便习惯发生改变,或是使用某种药物。</li><li>遗传因素可能会对孩子的排便习惯产生显著影响。</li><li>调整孩子的饮食或可改善便秘。</li><li>孩子的医生也可能建议使用粪便软化剂等药物来保持肠道畅通。</li><li>如果孩子粪便中带血,无法控制排便,或出现发烧、严重腹痛症状并伴有呕吐,请就医。</li></ul>
ConstipationCConstipationConstipationFrenchGastrointestinalChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)Large Intestine/ColonLarge intestine;RectumConditions and diseasesAdult (19+)Constipation2019-05-16T04:00:00ZBeth Gamulka, MD, and SickKids Constipation Working Group;Behnaz Mahmoodian, MD8.1000000000000062.2000000000000992.000000000000Health (A-Z) - ConditionsHealth A-Z<p>Découvrez les différentes causes de la constipation chez votre enfant et comment vous pouvez aider à la soulager avec un régime alimentaire adéquat, l’apprentissage de la propreté ou des médicaments.</p><h2>Qu’est-ce que la constipation?</h2><p>La constipation est un comportement anormal des intestins lors duquel les selles sont évacuées moins souvent et sont plus dures que d’habitude. La constipation s’accompagne d’inconfort. Dans les cas extrêmes, s’il y a souillures, on parle d’<a href="/Article?contentid=3&language=French">encoprésie</a>.</p><p>Chaque personne a un « comportement intestinal » différent. La fréquence des selles peut varier de plusieurs fois par jour à plusieurs fois par semaine. Si la fréquence des selles de votre enfant a diminué, il se peut qu’il soit constipé.</p><p>La constipation peut s’étendre sur plusieurs jours, plusieurs semaines ou plusieurs mois. Elle peut aussi se produire lors d’un changement dans les habitudes, comme l’<a href="/Article?contentid=636&language=French">apprentissage de la propreté</a>, l’entrée à l’école, l’arrivée d’un petit frère ou d’une petite sœur, un départ en vacances ou une modification du régime alimentaire.</p><p>Souvent, les selles peuvent sembler normales, mais s’accumulent dans les intestins avec le temps. Cette accumulation cause des crampes abdominales (au ventre) et de la douleur. Pour les enfants qui ont été constipés pendant une longue période, entraîner l’intestin à reprendre un comportement normal peut prendre plusieurs mois, voire des années. </p><p>Point à se rappeler : votre enfant peut souffrir de constipation même s’il va à la selle tous les jours.</p><h2>À retenir</h2><ul><li>La constipation consiste en des selles moins abondantes que d’habitude, douloureuses ou difficiles à évacuer.</li><li>La constipation peut être causée par le manque de fibres dans le régime alimentaire, une modification des habitudes intestinales ou des médicaments, ou le fait de ne pas boire suffisamment de liquides.</li><li>Chez la majorité des enfants, la constipation peut être une composante familiale.</li><li>Des changements dans le régime alimentaire de votre enfant peuvent contribuer au soulagement de sa constipation.</li><li>Le médecin de votre enfant peut également vous proposer l’administration de médicaments comme des émollients fécaux pour vider les intestins.</li><li>Consultez votre médecin s’il y a du sang dans les selles de votre enfant, s’il perd le contrôle de ses selles, s’il a de la fièvre, s’il souffre de douleurs abdominales intenses ou qu’il vomit. </li></ul><h2>Qu'est-ce qui cause la constipation?</h2><p>Chez la majorité des enfants, la constipation est causée par de mauvaises habitudes intestinales ou un mauvais régime alimentaire. Voici des causes courantes de la constipation :</p><ul><li>ne pas boire suffisamment de liquides; </li><li>manque de fibres issues de grains complets, fruits ou légumes dans le régime alimentaire de votre enfant; </li><li>trop de malbouffe et autres aliments provoquant la constipation dans le régime alimentaire de votre enfant; </li><li>se retenir pour éviter les douleurs à l'évacuation des selles dues à des fissures (petites déchirures) à l'anus;</li><li>causes génétiques: certains enfants héritent de la tendance à la constipation de leurs parents;</li><li>mauvaises habitudes intestinales, troubles de l'apprentissage de la propreté, et parfois​ refus de passer du temps sur le siège des toilettes.</li></ul><p>Certains enfants peuvent avoir peur des toilettes publiques, alors que d’autres préfèrent simplement continuer de jouer plutôt que d’aller à la toilette lorsqu’ils ressentent l’urgence d’évacuer des selles. Ils préfèrent « se retenir », ce qui cause une accumulation de selles.</p><p>Voici d’autres causes moins courantes de la constipation :</p><ul><li>maladies qui causent des <a href="/Article?contentid=746&language=French">vomissements</a> ou de la <a href="/Article?contentid=30&language=French">fièvre</a>, et qui provoquent une perte de liquides corporels et de la <a href="/Article?contentid=776&language=French">déshydratation</a>;</li><li>certains médicaments comme la <a href="/Article?contentid=2999&language=French">morphine</a>;</li><li>insuffisance de la glande thyroïde (<a href="/Article?contentid=2309&language=French">hypothyroïdisme</a>);</li><li><a href="/Article?contentid=830&language=French">maladie de Hirschsprung</a>, maladie de l’intestin que l’on diagnostique habituellement dans les premières semaines de vie.</li></ul><h2>Comment prendre soin de votre enfant qui souffre de constipation</h2><p>Chez la majorité des enfants, la constipation peut être soulagée en changeant le régime alimentaire et les habitudes de vie. Une fois que la constipation a commencé, elle peut durer longtemps. Le traitement est de longue haleine et requière la patience, la coopération et l'engagement de la part des membres de la famille et de l'école. </p><h3>Régime alimentaire des enfants de moins de 1 an</h3><p>Les bébés de moins de 2 mois ne sont généralement pas constipés. Parlez au médecin de votre enfant avant d'apporter des changements au lait ou à la préparation pour nourrissons (lait maternisé) de votre bébé ou de donner des médicaments pour soulager la constipation. </p><p>Si votre bébé a moins de 4 mois, vous pouvez envisager de donner une once (30 ml) de jus de pommes ou de jus de pruneaux 1 ou 2 fois par jour.</p><p>Si votre bébé a plus de 4 mois, vous pouvez lui donner de la nourriture en purée à teneur élevée en fibres, comme des abricots, des haricots, des céréales, des pêches, des poires, des prunes et des pruneaux.</p><h3>Régime alimentaire des enfants de plus d’un an</h3><p>Faites boire à votre enfant beaucoup de liquides, surtout de l’eau.</p><p>Assurez-vous que votre enfant mange des fruits et des légumes tous les jours. Le Guide alimentaire canadien recommande que les enfants consomment 4 à 6 portions de fruits et légumes par jour. Les pommes, les abricots, les haricots, les bleuets, le brocoli, le chou, le chou-fleur, les dates, les figues, la laitue, les pois, les poires, les pruneaux et les raisins secs sont de bons exemples. Évitez tous les aliments avec lesquels les enfants plus jeunes risqueraient de s’<a href="/Article?contentid=1039&language=French">étouffer</a>.</p><p>Faites en sorte d’augmenter la portion de fibres dans le régime alimentaire de votre enfant. Faites-lui manger du son tous les jours. C’est un laxatif émollient naturel puisqu’il a une teneur élevée en <a href="/Article?contentid=964&language=French">fibres</a>. Il y a de nombreuses sources de son parmi lesquelles choisir : céréales au son (type All-Bran), muffins au son, biscuits Graham, gruau, pain de blé entier. Le maïs soufflé (popcorn) est également une bonne source de fibres pour les enfants de plus de 4 ans. </p><p>Certains aliments sont une cause connue de constipation. Diminuez-en la quantité dans le régime alimentaire de votre enfant. On peut citer en exemple les aliments pauvres en fibres comme le riz blanc, le pain blanc, la malbouffe comme les croustilles (chips) ou les boissons gazeuses sucrées. Se gaver de produits laitiers au détriment d’aliments riches en fibres peut aussi constiper. Les changements de régimes alimentaires sont plus efficaces quand toute la famille suit ces choix santé. </p><h3>Apprentissage de la propreté</h3><p>Deux à trois fois par jour et 20 à 30 minutes après les repas, faites en sorte que votre enfant passe au moins 5 minutes sur le siège de toilette ou sur le pot pour bébé. Même s’il n’évacue pas de selles, vous favorisez le développement d’une habitude. À cette fin, vous pourriez trouver utile de vous servir d’un calendrier pour entretenir leur nouvelle habitude : de jeunes enfants voudront chaque jour apposer leurs autocollants sur le diagramme après leur séance sur le petit pot.</p><p>Votre enfant devrait être confortablement installé, les genoux élevés, avec un repose-pied pour empêcher les jambes de votre enfant de pendre de chaque côté. Il aidera aussi à maintenir les genoux pliés, ce qui facilite l’évacuation des selles.</p><p>Si vous éprouvez de la difficulté avec l’apprentissage de la propreté et que votre enfant retient ses selles, il se peut que vous deviez retarder son apprentissage de la propreté jusqu’à ce que son problème de constipation ait été traité avec succès.</p><h3>Activité physique régulière</h3><p>L’exercice ou l’activité physique peut aider à prévenir la constipation. Les enfants d’un à quatre ans ont besoin de 180 minutes (3 heures) d’<a href="/Article?contentid=642&language=French">exercice physique régulier</a> chaque jour; les enfants de cinq ans et plus ont besoin de 60 minutes (une heure). </p><h3>Médicaments</h3><p>Si un changement dans le régime alimentaire ne soulage pas la constipation de votre enfant, parlez-en à son médecin. Certains enfants ne seront pas réceptifs aux seuls changements dans les habitudes alimentaires ou pour aller à la selle et auront besoin de médicaments.</p><p>Les médicaments les plus efficaces contre la constipation sont les émollients fécaux. Leur effet est dû au fait qu’ils attirent l’eau dans les intestins et en chassent les selles. Le <a href="/Article?contentid=219&language=French">polyéthylène glycol (PEG 3350)</a> est sans danger pour les enfants et peut être utilisé pendant de longues périodes. De nombreuses marques sont disponibles sans ordonnance. Le produit n’a aucun goût quand il est complètement dissous dans une boisson.</p><p>Pour les enfants souffrant de constipation sévère, des doses plus importantes de médicaments sont nécessaires au départ pour vider les intestins des selles accumulées et soulager la douleur due à la constipation. Vous pouvez ensuite ajuster la dose pour aider l’enfant à aller à la selle tous les jours.</p><p>Les suppositoires ou les lavements sont à éviter autant que possible. Si vous devez les utiliser, suivez scrupuleusement les indications de votre médecin.</p><p>N’ayez pas peur de donner à votre enfant un traitement contre la constipation à long terme sous la supervision de votre médecin. Les intestins ne deviendront pas dépendants du PEG 3350 et ne deviendront pas paresseux. Aller à la selle de façon régulière est important pour la santé des intestins.</p><h2>À quel moment consulter le médecin de votre enfant</h2><p>Consultez le médecin de votre enfant si :</p><ul><li>la santé générale de votre enfant semble affectée par sa constipation;</li><li>il y a du sang dans les selles;</li><li>votre enfant a de la <a href="/Article?contentid=30&language=French">fièvre</a>;</li><li>il urine souvent ou a mal lorsqu’il urine;</li><li>il commence à souiller ses sous-vêtements;</li><li>il perd du poids;</li><li>il se réveille la nuit pour aller à la selle;</li><li>il se plaint de douleurs abdominales.</li></ul><h3>Amenez votre enfant au service des urgences le plus proche si :</h3><ul><li>il souffre beaucoup;</li><li>il vomit sans cesse ou le vomi est vert foncé;</li><li>son abdomen (ventre) est gonflé.</li></ul>
便秘便便秘ConstipationChineseTraditionalGastrointestinalChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)Large Intestine/ColonLarge intestine;RectumConditions and diseasesAdult (19+)Constipation2019-05-16T04:00:00ZBeth Gamulka, MD, and SickKids Constipation Working Group;Behnaz Mahmoodian, MDFlat ContentHealth A-Z<p>閱讀本文,瞭解導致便秘的不同原因,學習如何通過飲食、如廁訓練和/或藥物幫助孩子緩解便秘。</p><h2>什麼是便秘?</h2><p>便秘是指排便模式發生異常,便秘者會排出較硬、較小的糞便,排便次數也會減少。便秘者在排便時會感到不適。便秘極為嚴重時,還可能出現<a href="/Article?contentid=3&language=ChineseTraditional">滲便</a>。</p><p>每個人的排便習慣都不相同。正常的排便頻率從一天數次到幾天一次不等。如果您注意到孩子的糞便變硬、變小或排便次數減少,孩子可能受到便秘困擾。</p><p>便秘可能持續數天、數週或數月,也可能在作息發生改變時(例如進行<a href="/Article?contentid=636&language=ChineseTraditional">如廁訓練</a>、開始上學、弟弟妹妹的降生、外出度假或飲食調整)出現。</p><p>隨著時間推移,糞便可能會在便秘者的腸道中積聚,並可能導致胃痙攣或胃痛,但便秘者或許很長時間都不會留意到自己的便秘症狀。兒童如長期便秘,重新訓練並恢復正常的排便習慣可能需要數月甚至數年。</p><p>請記住:即使孩子每天排便,也可能發生便秘。</p><h2>要點</h2><ul><li>便秘,指的是排便次數較平時減少,排便時有疼痛感或排便困難。</li><li>導致便秘的原因,可能是未能攝入足夠水分或纖維,排便習慣發生改變,或是使用某種藥物。</li><li>遺傳因素可能會對孩子的排便習慣產生顯著影響。</li><li>調整孩子的飲食或可改善便秘。</li><li>孩子的醫生也可能建議使用糞便軟化劑等藥物來保持腸道暢通。</li><li>如果孩子糞便中帶血,無法控制排便,或出現發燒、嚴重腹痛症狀並伴有嘔吐,請就醫。</li></ul>

 

 

 

 

Constipation6.00000000000000ConstipationConstipationCEnglishGastrointestinalChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)Large Intestine/ColonLarge intestine;RectumConditions and diseasesAdult (19+)Constipation2019-05-16T04:00:00ZBeth Gamulka, MD, and SickKids Constipation Working Group;Behnaz Mahmoodian, MD8.1000000000000062.20000000000001297.00000000000Health (A-Z) - ConditionsHealth A-Z<p>Find out about the different causes of constipation and how you can help your child relieve it with diet, toilet training and/or medicines.</p><h2>What is constipation? </h2><p>Constipation is an abnormal pattern of bowel movements that causes a person to pass harder and smaller stools (poo), less often than usual. Constipation makes passing stools uncomfortable. In more extreme cases, there may be <a href="/Article?contentid=3&language=English">soiling</a> (encopresis).</p><p>Everyone has a different bowel pattern. A normal frequency of stools can vary from several times a day to once every few days. If your child's stools have become harder, smaller or the pattern has slowed down, they may be constipated.</p><p>Constipation can occur over days, weeks or months or it can occur during a change in routine such as <a href="/Article?contentid=636&language=English">toilet training</a>, starting school, having a new sibling, going on holiday or having a change in diet.</p><p>With constipation, stool may build up in the bowels over time. This build-up can cause stomach cramps and pain, but the symptoms of constipation may go unrecognized for a long time. For children who have been constipated for a long time, retraining the bowel and returning it to normal can take many months or sometimes even years.</p><p>Remember: Constipation can still happen even if a child is having a bowel movement every day.</p><h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>Constipation means bowel movements that are less frequent than usual, painful or hard to pass.</li><li>Constipation can be caused by inadequate fluids or fibre in the diet, a change in bowel routines or medicines.</li><li>Genetics may play an important role in your child’s bowel patterns.<br></li><li>Changes in your child's diet may improve constipation.</li><li>Your child's doctor may also suggest giving medicine such as stool softeners to clear the bowel.</li><li>See your doctor if your child has blood in their stool, is having accidents with bowel movements or has a fever or severe abdominal pain and vomiting.</li></ul><h2>What causes constipation?</h2><p>In most children, constipation is caused by issues with bowel routines or diet. Some common causes of constipation are:<br></p><ul><li>not drinking enough fluids</li><li>not having enough fibre from whole grains or cereals, fruits and vegetables</li><li>eating too much junk food or other foods that promote constipation</li><li>withholding stools to avoid painful bowel movements if there are small tears (fissures) at the bowel opening (anus)</li><li>genetics - some children inherit a tendency toward constipation from their parents</li><li>poor bowel routines, problems with toilet training and sometimes refusing to spend time on the toilet.</li></ul><p>Some children may have a fear of public bathrooms or bathrooms at school. Other children simply prefer to keep playing rather than go to the bathroom when they feel the urge to have a bowel movement. Instead, they 'hold back', causing a build-up of stool.</p><p>Other less common causes of constipation are:</p><ul><li>illnesses that cause <a href="/Article?contentid=746&language=English">vomiting</a> or <a href="/Article?contentid=30&language=English">fever</a> and lead to a loss of body fluids and <a href="/Article?contentid=776&language=English">dehydration</a></li><li>some medicines such as morphine</li><li>underactive thyroid gland (<a href="/Article?contentid=2309&language=English">hypothyroidism</a>)</li><li> <a href="/article?contentid=830&language=English">Hirschsprung's disease</a>, a disease of the bowel that is usually diagnosed in the first few weeks of life</li></ul><h2>How to care for your child with constipation</h2><p>In some children, constipation can be relieved by making diet and lifestyle changes. Once constipation starts, it can last a long time. Treatment is long-term and requires patience, co-operation and commitment from family members and from the school.</p><h3>Diet in children less than one year old</h3><p>Babies under two months old generally do not have constipation. Talk to your child's doctor before you make any changes to your baby's milk or formula or give any medicine to treat constipation.</p><p>If your baby is under four months old, you may consider giving 1 ounce (30 mL) of apple, pear or prune juice once or twice a day.</p><p>Once your baby is more than four months old, try giving high-fibre, strained foods. These include apricots, beans, cereals, peaches, pears, peas, plums or prunes.</p><h3>Diet in children over one year old</h3><p>Give your child plenty of fluids, especially water.</p><p>Make sure your child eats fruits and vegetables every day. Canada's Food Guide recommends that children have four to six servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Some good examples are apples, apricots, beans, blueberries, brocolli, cabbage, cauliflower, dates, figs, lettuce, peas, pears, prunes and raisins. Avoid any foods that could cause <a href="/Article?contentid=1039&language=English">choking</a> in younger children.</p><p>Take steps to increase the amount of <a href="/Article?contentid=964&language=English">fibre</a> in your child's diet. Have your child eat bran every day. It is high in fibre and is a natural stool softener. There are many sources of bran to choose from. Try bran cereals, bran muffins, whole wheat or multigrain bread, graham crackers or oatmeal. If your child is older than four years of age, popcorn is another great fibre source.</p><p>Some foods are known to cause constipation. You may wish to limit them in your child's diet. Examples include low-fibre foods such as white rice or bread, and junk food such as chips and pop. Filling up on too much dairy may also contribute to constipation. Diet changes are most successful when the entire family follows these healthy choices.</p><h3>Toilet training</h3><p>Two or three times a day, 20-30 minutes after each meal, have your child spend at least five minutes on the toilet or the potty. Even if there is no bowel movement, you are helping to set a pattern. You might find it helpful to use a calendar to reinforce the schedule. Younger children may like stickers they can put on a chart for sitting on the toilet after a meal.</p><p>Your child should be comfortable, with the knees up. A foot rest can prevent your child's legs from hanging down. It will also keep the knees bent, which helps bowel movements pass more easily.</p><p>If you are having problems with toilet training and your child is holding back stool, you may need to delay toilet training until the constipation is successfully treated.</p><h3>Regular physical activity</h3><p>Exercise or physical activity can help keep the bowels moving. Children ages one to four need 180 minutes (3 hours) <a href="/Article?contentid=642&language=English&hub=mentalhealth">regular physical activity</a> each day. Children ages five or older need 60 minutes (1 hour) of physical activity.</p><h3>Medicines</h3><p>If a change in diet does not relieve your child's constipation, talk to your child's doctor.</p><p>Some children with constipation will not respond to diet and toilet routine changes alone and will need medicine.</p><p>The most effective medicines for constipation are stool softeners. These work by drawing water into the bowel to 'flush' out the stool. The most commoly used medicine is <a href="/Article?contentid=219&language=English">polyethylene glycol (PEG 3350)</a>. Polyethylene glycol is safe for children and can be used long-term. Many brands are available without a prescription and it is tasteless when fully dissolved in a drink.</p><p>For children who are severely constipated, higher doses of medicines are often needed at first to clean out backed-up stool and provide relief from the pain linked to constipation. You can then adjust the dose so your child has at least one soft stool every day.</p><p>Avoid using suppositories or enemas when possible. Only use suppositories or enemas if your child's doctor has suggested them.</p><p>Do not be afraid to give your child long-term medicine under your doctor's supervision to help treat their constipation. The bowels do not become dependent on PEG 3350 and will not become lazy. Routine emptying of the bowel is important for overall bowel health.</p><h2>When to see your child's doctor for constipation</h2><p>See your child's doctor if your child:</p><ul><li>is generally affected by poor bowel movements</li><li>has blood in the stool</li><li>has a <a href="/Article?contentid=30&language=English">fever</a></li><li>is urinating (peeing) often or finds urinating painful</li><li>starts to soil underwear</li><li>loses weight</li><li>wakes up from sleep to pass stool</li><li>complains of abdominal pain </li></ul><h3>Take your child to the nearest Emergency Department if:</h3><ul><li>your child develops severe abdominal pain</li><li>your child is vomiting (throwing up) repeatedly or vomiting dark green</li><li>your child's abdomen (belly) becomes swollen</li></ul><img alt="" src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/constipation.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/constipation.jpgconstipationConstipationFalse

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