Besides taking the right laxatives for them, there are many natural ways to deal with kids’ constipation. Here’s what you need to know!
We all know how uncomfortable and painful constipation can be. When it happens to a child, every parent wants to help relieve their kid’s constipation as quickly and safely as possible.
The first step to relieve kids’ constipation is to evaluate diet and lifestyle changes that may alleviate symptoms and prevent future bouts.
After trying home remedies, a pediatrician may recommend over-the-counter or prescribed medication.
If you suspect your child may be constipated, it’s always essential to consult with a pediatrician to determine the best treatment for your child’s particular situation.
Symptoms Of Constipation In Kids
It’s important to know what to look for when it comes to constipation in children, particularly younger children who may not have the vocabulary to describe how they feel.
Common symptoms include:
- Stomach bloating and pain;
- Refusal to poop;
- Solid, dry, and lumpy stools;
- Stools are abnormally large and can be very difficult to pass;
- Discomfort or pain when using the bathroom;
- Frequent or unusual bedwetting;
- Soiling accidents and stool leakage;
- Frequent urinary tract infections.
Home Remedies For Children’s Constipation
A child’s nutritional intake, hydration, fitness, and routine, all play an essential role in maintaining healthy bowels.
Here’s what to actually do to effectively relieve your kid’s constipation:
1. Opt For A Diet Rich In Fibers
One of the most important remedies for kids’ constipation is ensuring they consume a nutritional, balanced diet that includes plenty of fiber-rich foods.
Examples of foods rich in fiber include fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. It is equally important to avoid unhealthy foods as it is to eat healthy ones.
Avoid and minimize processed foods and beverages higher in salt and sugar like chips, fast food, and soda. This will help to promote regular bowel movements.
Another way to keep the stools moving, besides eating more fiber-rich foods, is by reducing the dairy and protein intake.
2. Exercise To Move The Bowels
Ensure your child gets daily exercise by making fitness fun with a game of tag, duck-duck-goose, holding a dance party, or other fun activities that bring them to move their body.
Hiking, walking, or running with the entire family can also be a fun way to make your kid exercise.
You can also play some basketball or do some gymnastics with your kid in your backyard.
There are countless ways to get the kids moving while also having fun at the same time.
3. Hydration Is Key To Beat Constipation
Kids need lots of water to keep their bowels moving. Water helps moisten stool, making it easier to pass.
Water also works in conjunction with fiber to bulk stool up and keep it moving through the bowels.
Avoid sugary drinks like soda and some juices, as well as caffeinated beverages.
4. Create A Bathroom Routine
It’s hard to maintain a predictable bathroom routine when your schedule is so busy. But routine is an integral part of avoiding a buildup of stool in the bowel that can lead to constipation.
You should help and encourage your kids to create a bathroom routine to ‘train’ their bowels to go at predictable intervals.
A healthy routine should include 3 daily visits to the bathroom:
- The first thing in the morning;
- 30 minutes after lunch;
- Right before going to bed.
5. Massage The Belly
You can help your children get the stool moving by gently massaging their belly and lower abdomen region.
Also, another way to massage the belly would be to move their legs in a bicycling motion while they lie on their back.
These are some quick remedies you can try at home to relieve your kids from constipation.
Quick Relief For Kids’ Constipation
If home remedies don’t relieve your child’s constipation, a pediatrician may recommend a laxative medication.
There are many different types of laxative medications available and each works for different situations. Some are designed for different ages and have varying side effects.
The four categories of laxatives are:
- Stool Softeners: docusate sodium and docusate calcium.
- Lubricant Laxative: mineral oil.
- Stimulant Laxative: bisacodyl and sennosides.
- Osmotic Laxative: polyethylene glycol and glycerin.
Typically, pediatricians will recommend stool softeners as the first course of action as they are effective and have fewer side effects.
The time it takes medication to work varies considerably, depending on the medication and your symptoms. Rectal laxatives that contain docusate sodium, like DocuSol® Kids mini-enema (ages 2-12), tend to work more quickly and with fewer side effects.
Hopefully, these tips will help keep your child safe and prevent and relieve constipation.