A lot of us at one time in our lives may have experienced the pain and discomfort of constipation. So imagine a baby or toddler who can not express his or herself enough to tell you how they are feeling.
It is really heart breaking to see a child go through so much pain .
It is a preventable and treateable condition, however if left untreated it can become a long term problem for the child .
Constipation is when a child has fewer bowel movements in a week and stool is hard and is difficult to pass out .Though not all children who don’t use the toilet regularly are constipated , some children may not necessarily pass stool frequently .
What you should look out for is the texture of the poo , if it is hard and causes pain , then your child is constipated.
It is more common when a child is transitioning from breast milk to solids ,this is because the child’s system is trying to adjust to the intake of solids ,children who are bottle fed are also more prone to constipation .
Constipation can be caused by the low consumption of water, less water in the system will in turn cause the stool to be hard and strong.
SIGNS TO LOOK OUT FOR
Child cries while trying to poo and is in considerable pain .
Stool comes out like little pellets and is very hard and dry .
Child is dehydrated which is quite dangerous.
Child is bloated but refuses to relive his or herself due to fear of associated pain .
There is the presence of blood in the stool.
Consistent smelly fart.
There is loss of appetite .
WHAT TO DO
Start by increasing child’s fluid intake by giving lots of water.
Massage tummy in a clockwise circle.
Lay child on the back and move legs in a cycling motion .
Warm bath can help stimulate the system .
Fruits with pulp roughage like orange or pineapple should be taken.
Give prune or freshly squeezed juice .
Spoonful of castor oil or milk of magnesium helps to loosen up the stool.
HOW TO AVOID CONSTIPATION
Increase water intake.
Increase fibre intake such as fruits and vegetables,whole grain bread and cereals.
Encourage regular use of toilet.
If all else fails , contact a doctor who may prescribe a laxative or an anal insert.