Constipation in Children – Causes and Symptoms of Constipation in Children
Constipation in children is a common gastrointestinal problem that is characterized by less frequent bowel movements with dry and hard stools. There are many factors that lead to constipation in children and in many cases it is temporary. Constipation occurs less frequently than usual and a child can have difficulty or pain while passing stools. This disease can be a sign of serious health problem some times.
Causes of Constipation
The causes of constipation include:
- Withholding: Ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement. This happens when they are away from home and do not want to take a break from play.
- Early toilet training: If toilet training is started too soon, your child may rebel and hold his /her stools which may cause constipation.
- Changes in the diet: Reduced intake of fiber rich foods like fruits and vegetables and decreased fluid intake may cause them to pass hard stools.
- Changes in routine: Changes in the routine of a child like travel, stress or hot weather can affect his/her bowel function.
- Cow’s milk allergy: Drinking too much of cow’s milk or if a child is allergic to cow’s milk, may lead to this disease of the GI tract.
- Family history: Genetic or environmental factors also can cause constipation in children.
- Medical Conditions: Any metabolic or gastrointestinal problems can result in constipation.
Constipation in children occurs due to other factors like:
- Sedentary lifestyle.
- Reduced fiber content in the diet
- Reduced intake of fluids
- Intake of certain medications like antacids and antidepressants
- Suffering from attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
- Constipation is slightly more common in boys than girls.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms in children include:
- Bowel movements are hard, dry and difficult to pass
- Nausea and Vomiting
- No bowel movements for several days
- Abdominal pain
- Poor appetite
- Traces Of clay-like or liquid stool in a child’s underwear
- Bright red colored blood on the surface of hard stool
- Cranky behavior
- Weight loss
- Painful cracks in the skin and anus
When to consult your Medical Health Professional?
When you find the above symptoms, consult your doctor immediately before leading to further complications.