Parents everywhere want to provide their kid(s) the fastest relief possible when they are suffering from the unpleasant symptoms of constipation. This common problem affects up to 30% of children, and yet many parents feel at a loss as to what methods are the most effective for relieving – and preventing – constipation.
While it may be common, constipation may lead to other health problems if it isn’t addressed. It’s important to seek advice from a pediatrician about how your child can incorporate diet and lifestyle changes to help prevent further bouts of constipation in the future.
Parents everywhere want to provide their kid(s) the fastest relief possible when they are suffering from the unpleasant symptoms of constipation.
Natural Remedies to Provide Fast Constipation Relief for Kids
When in the throes of constipation symptoms, ‘fast’ is a relative concept, as everyone wants immediate relief. Even with most medications, however, instant relief is not always possible, so there are several things you can try from the comfort of your own home that will help keep things moving.
- Encourage Your Child to Drink Water and Eat More Fiber. Proper hydration and fiber are the ‘dynamic duo’ of children’s constipation relief. If you notice your child’s bowel movements have become dried or labored, you can start by ensuring they drink enough water and get plenty of fiber. Options for fiber include whole grains, fruits, veggies, nuts, and legumes. However, every child’s daily fiber requirements vary depending on gender, age, and other medications they may be taking, so be sure to check in with a doctor about what amount of fiber is right for your child.
- Move the Body, Move the Bowels: Even though COVID-19 has brought changes to how and where kids are able to exercise, the good news is that any exercise done anywhere can be helpful. It doesn’t matter whether your child does scissor kicks on the ground or tries out some squats. It’s always fun to play a game of tag, hide-and-seek, or practice throwing a ball around in the yard, too! Any movement is good movement when it comes to relieving your kid’s constipation.
- Help Your Child Reduce Stress: One of the most common causes of constipation in kids is stress caused by life changes like starting school, camp, daycare or being in a less familiar environment. Stress can also be caused by changes like moving, a new sibling, or other changes within the family unit. Gently massaging their stomach can calm some of their physical stress (and promote bowel movements). If your child is old enough, talk about some of their concerns, and speak to other care provider(s) (like a teacher, daycare provider, or camp counselor) about ways they can help your child feel more comfortable using the bathroom away from home.
- Provide Fun Distractions: If your child feels anxious about going to the bathroom – meaning they are fearful of the potential pain and/or discomfort of going poop – make their bathroom environment as comfortable as possible. Provide some fun distractions, like a book, video game, or other stationary activity. A reward system with a simple prize – like a sticker – can also reduce stress and create a positive distraction.
- Create a Bathroom Routine: It’s important to establish and maintain a predictable bathroom routine for your child. They should use the bathroom, or at least try to, every morning after they wake up, and also about 20 to 30 minutes after a meal. Even if they don’t ‘go’, a stable routine actually trains their bowel to anticipate a movement, making the experience more pleasant (for everyone).
Common causes of kids’ constipation include anxiety over new routines, reactions to medications, illness, allergies, being ‘too busy’ to go (meaning playing), and dehydration.
Causes of Constipation in Kids
While it’s important to utilize these quick tips for children’s constipation relief in urgent situations, it is always best to think about creating long-term change. Ultimately, knowing the causes of kid constipation can help stop the same problem from reoccurring in the future.
Some of the most common causes include anxiety over new routines, reactions to medications, illness, allergies, being ‘too busy’ to go (meaning playing), and dehydration. If you suspect your child may be facing some of these issues, check with your pediatrician to do a review of any medications and have a physical exam to get more information about the potential cause(s) of your child’s constipation.
If constipation does occur again, though, you’ll want to be prepared. Along with our quick relief tips, you can also ask your child’s doctor about DocuSol® Kids for children’s constipation relief.
DocuSol® Kids Can Help!
DocuSol® Kids, a first-of-its-kind formula, provides constipation relief in 2-15 minutes. The non-irritating DocuSol® formulation functions as a stool-softening, hyperosmotic laxative by drawing water into the bowel from surrounding body tissues, replicating a normal bowel stimulus. This unique formulation provides children ages 2–12 fast, predictable relief of constipation.
The material contained is for reference purposes only. Consult a physician prior to use.
Has your child suffered from constipation?