Topic: Diseases & Conditions, General Child Health
This handout was written to answer some of the questions most often asked about constipation. Feel free to ask your doctor or nurse to go over any information you do not understand.
HOW CAN I TELL IF MY CHILD IS CONSTIPATED?
You may suspect that your child is constipated if he or she has one or more of the following symptoms.
1. Harder or smaller stools than is usual for the child
2. Decreased or absent stool for a longer period of time than is usual for your child. Remember, newborns may go for several days without a bowel movement. Most children who go more than three days without a bowel movement are constipated.
3. Decreased appetite
4. Stomach pains
You should call your child’s doctor if these symptoms persist. DO NOT give your child laxatives, enemas or suppositories unless your child’s doctor tells you to. You may increase the fiber in your child’s diet (see below) without a doctor’s advice.
HOW IS CONSTIPATION TREATED IN CHILDREN?
Usually constipation in children is treated by making some changes in the child’s diet. Have the child spend time (several minutes) on the potty to try to go.
A. Increase the following food for children who eat table foods:
1. Foods that have fiber or bulk. (Cereal with fiber or bran in the name, raw fruits and vegetables).
2. Three to four glasses of water daily, fruit juices, such as prune, apple and orange juice. Also offer your child any other kinds of liquids he or she will drink.
3. Bran cereals (raisin bran is a good choice), oatmeal, nuts, crunchy peanut butter and whole wheat breads.
4. Fresh fruits (except bananas and apples), vegetables and salads. Fruits that begin with the letter “p” are especially helpful.
B. Decrease the following foods for children who eat table foods:
1. Cheese - two to three servings per week
2. Bananas or applesauce - two to three servings per week
3. High-sugar cereals
4. White bread, rice and cream of wheat
5. Pastries, pies, cake and cookies your child eats
6. Macaroni, spaghetti and noodles
7. Ice cream
C. For infants over the age of four months who are growing well, give one tablespoon of diluted prune juice periodically – two to four ounces a day.
D. Sometimes switching the type of formula helps. For example: Switch from concentrate drinks.
Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar www.childrensdayton.org (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).
La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.
Corregido: 1994, 2001
The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.
Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.
Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.
Revised: 1994, 2001
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