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Constipation in Children

Constipation in Children Overview

Constipation occurs commonly in children. Still, not many parents actually seek advice from the doctor for this condition. Constipation describes the infrequent passage of stools (bowel movements) or the passage of hard stools. Any definition of constipation depends upon comparison with how often the child normally passes stools and with the usual consistency of his or her stools.

Many children normally pass stools as far apart as every few days. Regardless, you should treat hard stools that are difficult to pass and those that happen only every three days as constipation.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/23/2014
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Symptoms to Watch For During Home Treatment

Use the Check Your Symptoms section to evaluate your child's symptoms if any of the following occur during home treatment:

  • Constipation or changes in the stool persist after 24 hours of home treatment in a baby younger than 3 months.
  • New constipation persists after 1 week of home treatment in a child age 3 months to 11 years.
  • Chronic constipation:
    • Is causing new problems.
    • Has gotten worse.
    • Is accompanied by other bowel habit changes, such as changes in the size, shape, or consistency of stools.
  • Rectal pain develops, increases, or lasts longer than 1 week.
  • Abdominal pain develops or increases.
  • Fever develops.
  • Blood in the stool develops, increases, or lasts longer than 1 week.
  • Your child's symptoms become more severe or frequent.

SOURCE: Healthwise

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