Parent’s Guide to Preventing Constipation in Children


by Azure Sullivan



Parent’s Guide to Preventing Constipation in Children

Kids Health Secrets | Blue Emerald Wellness

If your child is constipated, make sure you know what to do. This parent’s guide will provide information on causes, risk factors and treatment for constipation in children.

Constipation is a common problem for children and parents alike. The good news is that it’s usually not serious and can be resolved quickly, but if left untreated it can lead to more severe problems such as encopresis or fecal impaction. We will explore the causes of constipation, how to prevent it from happening in the first place, and what to do when it does happen.

constipation in young children

The top causes of constipation in children include:

  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • A low fiber diet
  • Inactivity/lack of exercise
  • Taking certain medications
  • Eating processed food and fast foods

There are many things parents can do to help prevent constipation in their children. The most important is to make sure they are drinking enough fluids and eating a high-fiber diet. Parents should also encourage their children to be active, and get plenty of exercise.

Risk factors for children developing constipation include:

  • Being under 12 months of age
  • Having a family history of constipation or other gastrointestinal problems such as irritable bowel syndrome
  • Potty training
  • Reflux disease
  • Bladder dysfunction
  • UTIs (urinary tract infections)

Complications of constipation in children can include:

  • Hemorrhoids
  • Anal fissures
  • Encopresis (a cycle that is associated fecal incontinence that starts with constipation which leads to pain resulting in holding and more constipation)
  • Fecal impaction (a hardened mass of stool that becomes lodged in the rectum and cannot be expelled)

There are many over-the-counter and prescription medications that can help relieve constipation in children, but the best treatment is always prevention. Miralax is a great over-the-counter option that can be used to prevent constipation. It’s also commonly used in the pediatric and pediatric emergency setting in conjunction with enemas as needed. Miralax is a powder that you mix with water and drink once or twice daily.

By following these simple tips, you can help your child stay healthy and free from constipation.

If your child has chronic constipation you should schedule an appointment with their pediatrician or with a pediatric gastroenterologist to discuss treatment options. If the problem persists for an extended period of time, your pediatrician may refer your child to a specialist.

In most cases constipation can be treated with changes to the child’s diet and lifestyle. However, if these measures don’t work your pediatrician may prescribe a medication or recommend a bowel retraining program. Most cases of constipation, can be managed by your pediatrician and do not require emergency or subspecialty care.

By following these tips, parents can help their children avoid constipation and keep them healthy and happy.

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For more information and resources on your baby’s or child’s health, parent tips and tricks, pediatric emergencies, please visit our website or blog. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. You can also visit our website to download free PDF guides and hear our podcasts.

The information in this blog is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content is for general information purposes and is the opinion of staff at Blue Emerald Wellness. Please do not delay seeking medical advice or treatment because of something you read in this blog.


Authored by Azure Sullivan & Dr. Christopher Haines

Affiliate Disclaimer: Blue Emerald Wellness is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. This post may contain affiliate links and Blue Emerald Wellness may earn a small commission when you click on the links at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Affiliate, Blue Emerald Wellness earns from qualifying purchases. You can read our full privacy policy here.

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