A few days ago, I started writing about remedies for constipation in kids. While doing so I realized that when we say constipation, each of us has a different measure for it.
This prompted me to talk to some doctors and grandmas to find out if there is a real measure for it. I also did some reading to try and understand the common signs to look for. This is what I found.
Most people would say your child is constipated if he has less than 3 bowel movements within a week. But that would differ from child to child, since each child has a different pattern or schedule.
So (after all the reading and discussions) a better measure for would be that if your child has missed more than 2 of his regular scheduled pottys and is uncomfortable because of it. Apart from this also if the stool is dry, hard and difficult to pass no matter how frequent it is, you would still say the child is constipated.
Reasons for constipation in kids
Constipation is caused by a variety of reasons and the way it is treated would depend a lot on the cause. Here are the few common causes for constipation in children
#1. One of the main causes would be not drinking enough water or not having a diet with enough fibre.
#2. In infants and toddlers a transition from breast milk to formula or animal milk, or weaning and introducing purees, semi solids and solids could cause the baby difficulty in bowel movement
#3. Also in cases of dehydration, the body will tend to absorb the fluids it could cause constipation
#4. Sometimes with children, even if they are feeling the pressure, they avoid going to the bathroom since they want to continue the activity they are doing or if they are outside the home and do not want to use an outside bathroom. This ignoring or pressing of urges also makes it difficult for then when they feel the movement at a later stage.
#5. Sometimes some kids bowel movements are affected due to some changes in environment that could cause them stress like change of school, exams, joining some new group that they are not too fond of etc.
#6. If your child is not well and is having some antibiotics, and not eating and drinking well, that could also cause a mild constipation sometimes.
#7. Some medications used in cases of iron deficiencies are also known to cause constipation as a side effect.
#8. Constipation is also one of the initial changes many pregnant women experience.
Once you are able to detect the reasons or cause for constipation in your child it becomes easier to tackle it as the remedies differ for different causes. Even though it is a much talked about subject, constipation is not very difficult to treat. Watch this space for the remedies that I found most effective with my kids.
Banner image courtesy : https://www.flickr.com/photos/practicalcures/23638290572/