Constipation doesn’t only happen to grown-ups, but to toddlers and children as well. Constipation can cause discomfort, pain and may require intensive treatment if prolonged. That’s why it’s important that parents recognise the signs of constipation in their children so they can provide the right treatment.
Constipation occurs when your child’s stool is harder than usual to be passed, for 2 or more weeks. Other signs of constipation include intermittent abdominal bloating, a reduced appetite, and an overall irritable and angry mood.
One of the main causes of constipation is a lack of fluids in your child’s daily diet. Your child should have enough water daily as well as fibre from fruits and vegetables. Constipation may also occur when your child is trying to hold it in due to discomfort during defecation.
There are a few ways you can help your child overcome constipation:
• Ensure your child gets lots of water, as well as fruits and vegetables which are rich in fibre. Starting your child early on vegetables will also help your child adapt to the taste, and help inculcate good eating habits in the future.
• Give your child baby food and some formulated milk powder for children supplemented with probiotics. Probiotics help promote beneficial bacteria in the gut.
• Introduce your child to toilet training, and encourage your child to give you signals. Your child should be aiming to go to the potty, instead of holding it in.
If your child has been experiencing prolonged symptoms of constipation you should be thinking about going to the doctor’s. As in all things, prevention is better than looking for a cure, so it’s important to have your child eating a healthy and well-balanced diet to prevent constipation.
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