In an interview with the Health Channel, Jennifer Couceyro, Advanced Registered Nurses Practitioner with Baptist Children’s Hospital, explains how to spot constipation in your child and how to treat it. Constipation in children is a very common problem. A constipated child has infrequent bowel movements or a hard stool.
Jennifer explains that the first step in dealing with child constipation is being aware of it. “Many times, we have patients and families who come into the hospital, and they come in with complaints of abdominal pain. We ask them, does your child suffer from constipation? Unfortunately, a lot of the parents will say, ‘no, they go to the bathroom every day.’ Then we ask them, when they go to the bathroom is their bowel movement hard? How many times do they go a week? Is it soft? Is it liquid? Parents sometimes are either unaware that their child is constipated, or they don’t recognize the signs appropriately,” Jennifer says. Jennifer says that, in cases like this, when she starts checking the child, she sees that they are in fact full of stool and very constipated, to the surprise of the parents.
Awareness is important at all different age groups. Obviously, parents are more aware of their child’s bowel habits when they are a toddler. Once they start becoming older, school-aged and then, inevitably, a teenager, it becomes important to educate the child as well as the parent on what the signs of constipation are and what to do.
Prevention is the best thing for constipation. You want to try and avoid getting to the point where you are so constipated you end up in an emergency room. Something that you can do to prevent constipation is pay attention to your diet. Increasing your fluid intake, increasing your fiber, your fresh fruits, and vegetables help prevent constipation. Remaining active is also very important. You want to make sure that your kids are up and active, not sitting playing video games, or on the computer for too long.
The other thing that is interesting with constipation, is that you have to make sure your child is comfortable. Jennifer explains, “Children who go to school, you know the bathroom situation in school is not always the most comfortable for a child to go and spend time in.” If your child is avoiding the bathroom at school, that could also cause problems.
Watch the full segment of Jennifer Couceyro talking about how to prevent constipation in their child, here: https://youtu.be/OMoA4LidNCw