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Constipation in children is a common gastrointestinal issue that can cause discomfort and concern for both the child and their caregivers.How to tackle the constipation in kids? It is characterized by infrequent bowel movements or difficulty passing stool, often resulting in hard, dry stools that are painful to pass.Addressing constipation in kids is important as it can impact their overall well-being, including their appetite, energy levels, and even their behavior. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and ways to prevent for childhood constipation is crucial for parents and caregivers to help manage and alleviate this condition.

We’ll explore the causes of constipation in children, the signs and symptoms to watch for, and practical strategies for prevention and treatment. By gaining a better understanding of constipation in kids, we can better support their digestive health and overall comfort.

Signs and symptoms of constipation

  • Infrequent bowel movement: Less than 3 bowel movements a week
  • Stomach pain/cramps (the pains tend to come and go)
  • Bowel movement that are hard, dry and difficult to pass
  • Straining when having bowel movements: you may notice your child crossing their legs, clenching their buttocks, twisting their body or making faces when attempting to hold stool. 

You may feel your child has hard lumps of poo if you press gently on their tummy, you will also notice that your child looks more bloated than usual


How to tackle constipation in kids

Red flags of baby poo

How to tackle constipation in kids

Green flags of baby poo


Constipation happens because the large intestine absorbs too much water from the poop. This dries out the poop, making it hard in consistency and difficult to push out of your body.

What causes constipation?

Although there is some children that have slow gut movement that can causes constipation, but there are some other reason such as: 

  • Bowel habits: ignoring the urge to have a poo, the poo will become harder and larger.A child also will begin to ‘hold on’ after a painful experience when having a bowel movement. 
  • Diet: Less intake in fiber-rich fruits and vegetables or fluid in the diet  may lead to constipation. 
  • Change in toilet environment and routine: when being told to hold on when they feel the urge to go it will cause constipation. Any changes in the routine of your child such as traveling, hot weather or stress that can affect bowel function. 
  • Disease: diseases such as the absence of normal nerve endings in parts of the bowel, defects of the spinal cord, thyroid deficiency and certain other metabolic disorders that can cause constipation.

How to prevent constipation?

  • Healthy bowel habits: Toilet-training is very important for your child, your child should sit on the toilet after breakfast, lunch and dinner even if they do not feel the urge to go. 
  • A healthy diet: Increasing fibre, fruit and vegetables intake might help in some children who have a natural tendency to be constipated. You can also reduce cow milk intake and avoid sweet drinks before meals to improve your child’s appetite at meal times. 
  • Encourage them to drink lots of water.
  • Promote physical activity to stimulate normal bowel function

When to see a doctor? 

  1. Persistent Symptoms: If your child experiences persistent constipation despite dietary changes and home remedies, it might indicate an underlying issue that needs medical attention.
  2. Severe Pain: If your child complains of severe abdominal pain, especially accompanied by vomiting or fever, it could signal a more serious condition like an intestinal blockage or infection.
  3. Bleeding: Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool should always prompt a visit to the doctor to rule out any serious causes.
  4. Changes in Bowel Habits: Significant changes in your child’s bowel habits, such as sudden constipation after a period of normal stools, warrant investigation.
  5. Lack of Improvement: If constipation persists despite appropriate home treatments and lifestyle changes recommended by your doctor or healthcare provider.
  6. Underlying Conditions: Children with certain medical conditions or developmental disorders may be more prone to constipation and should have their symptoms monitored closely by a healthcare professional.
  7. Family History: If there is a family history of digestive disorders or if there are concerns about the child’s growth or development related to constipation.

It’s essential to trust your instincts as a parent. If you’re worried about your child’s constipation or if their symptoms are causing distress or discomfort, it’s always better to seek medical advice promptly. A healthcare professional can provide guidance tailored to your child’s specific needs and ensure appropriate management of their condition.


In conclusion, addressing constipation in children requires patience, consistency, and understanding. By incorporating dietary changes, promoting regular physical activity, and establishing a comfortable bathroom routine, parents can effectively manage and prevent constipation in their children. Remember, each child is unique, so it may take time to find the right combination of strategies that work best. By staying proactive and seeking medical advice when necessary, parents can ensure their child’s digestive health and overall well-being are well-supported.



Cleveland Clinic. (2023). Constipation. Cleveland Clinic.

Mayo Clinic. (2021, September 18). Constipation in children – Symptoms and causes. Mayo Clinic.

Kids Health Info : Constipation. (n.d.).