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Virtual Pediatric Hospital: CQQA: Child Constipation

Pediatrics Common Questions, Quick Answers

Child Constipation

Donna D'Alessandro, M.D.
Lindsay Huth, B.A.
Peer Review Status: Internally Reviewed
Creation Date: October 2001
Last Revision Date: April 2002

Common Questions, Quick Answers

What is constipation?

What are signs that my child is constipated?

What causes constipation?

How is constipation treated?
Changes in diet can help your child have regular BMs. Taking regular trips to the bathroom, using stool softeners, and easing rectal pain can also treat constipation. Do not use suppositories, enemas (putting fluid into the rectum using a tube), or oral (by mouth) laxatives without asking your doctor first.

Diet for infants under 1 year old

Diet for children over 1 year old

Regular bathroom breaks

Stool softeners

Rectal pain

How long should constipation last?

How can constipation be prevented?

When should I call the doctor?
Constipation can cause a small tear in the anal canal called an anal fissure. A child with a tear may have a small amount of bright red blood on his toilet paper or in his stools. You do not need to call the doctor unless:

Quick Answers


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