Constipation in children: advice from Childhealthy

Constipation is a common problem in paediatric practice, affecting children of all ages. Here's how to recognise and manage constipation in your child.

Understanding constipation

Constipation in children typically manifests as infrequent bowel movements, difficulty passing stools, or painful defecation. Causes can include diet, hydration, and in some cases, psychological factors.

Managing constipation

Increasing fibre intake, encouraging regular fluid consumption, and promoting physical activity can help manage and prevent constipation. In some cases, laxatives prescribed by a doctor may be necessary.


The role of diet and routine

A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, along with a regular toileting routine, can significantly reduce the risk of constipation.

Constipation management: top 5 tips

  1. High-fibre diet: ensure your child has plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in their diet to encourage regular bowel movements.
  2. Encourage hydration: promote drinking water and fluids throughout the day to help soften stools.
  3. Promote physical activity: regular physical activity can help stimulate digestion and prevent constipation.
  4. Establish a routine: encourage regular toilet times, especially after meals, to help develop a consistent bowel routine.
  5. Seek medical advice: if constipation persists or is accompanied by pain, consult a healthcare provider for further evaluation and treatment.

Constipation can be uncomfortable for your child, but it's usually manageable with lifestyle changes and, if necessary, medical intervention. Regular follow-ups with your paediatrician can help keep your child comfortable and healthy.

Click here to read our other articles on Constipation:


  • NHS website: comprehensive guide on constipation in children, including symptoms, causes, and treatment.
  • Eric, the children's bowel & bladder charity: support and advice for managing constipation.

Disclaimer: information contained in this article is intended as general advice and does not replace a medical assessment. If you are concerned about your child, please contact your doctor for advice.

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