Originally Answered: My daughter is constipated, what can i do for her?
Constipation is likely to happen when your child doesn't drink enough water, milk or fruit juices, or if your child doesn't eat a healthy diet that includes enough fiber. Fiber is found in foods such as cereals, grains, fruits and vegetables. If your child eats a diet high in fat and refined sugars (candy and desserts), he or she is probably not getting fiber, which may result in constipation.
Also, young children with chronic constipation often ignore the urge to have a bowel movement. When a child avoids bowel movements, stool builds up in the lower bowel. The stool becomes larger and harder. Passage of the stool can be painful and makes children want to avoid having a bowel movement even more.
There are many things you can do to help your child:
Diet--You can start by increasing the amount of fluid your child drinks every day. If your baby is eating cereal, you can try adding a little prune juice to it.. If you have an older child, make sure they are drinking plenty of water, and you can also give them large prune juice, bran cereal, and fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber.
Bowel habit training--Your child should be taught not to wait to have a bowel movement. To establish a regular bowel habit, ask your child to sit on the toilet for at least 10 minutes at about the same time each day, preferably after a meal. Make sure your child can place his or her feet firmly on the floor while sitting on the toilet. If this is not possible, put a footstool in front of the toilet. While your child is sitting on the toilet, you might let your child read a story book or listen to the radio.
Medicine--Many laxatives are available to treat constipation in children. The choice of laxative depends on the age of your child and how serious the constipation is. Ask your family doctor to suggest a brand name and tell you how much to use.
Start a reward program-Begin rewarding your child for just sitting on the toilet. For example, if your child sits on the toilet at the planned time, reward your child with a favorite activity.
If your child has a bowel movement, give your child praise and a reward. Try not to use food as a reward. Some children like to be awarded with stickers or stars on a shart. Older children like to add up points for a larger reward, such as a trip to a movie theater.
Hope she feels better soon!