As parents, we have to do a lot of gross things. To think, you finally get the kids out of diapers and you still need to talk about poop! I had no idea kids sometimes need surgery due to constipation! That is crazy! Here's the latest word on kids and holiday constipation:
Trips to the bathroom are pretty routine for Kevin Wallace, but it wasn’t always that way. A small case of constipation turned into a big problem that took money, time and effort to fix.
“It was very traumatic for both of us, because I’m pushing him to do something and he’s telling
me he’s done it and come to find out he was doing the best he could, I just wasn’t aware of the
symptoms,” says Linda Wallace, Kevin’s mother.
And the Wallace’s aren’t alone. One in four children will have constipation at some point, caused
by a number of things like, not eating enough fiber or fruits and vegetables, not wanting to use
unfamiliar bathrooms and ignoring the urge to go while playing.
“And children have a very concrete way of thinking. If something doesn’t feel good, ‘I’ll never
do that again,” says Carlo Di Lorenzo, MD at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
In a new study, Doctor Carlo Di Lorenzo and his team at Nationwide Children’s Hospital found
constipation can lead to serious health issues and skyrocketing costs, to the tune of nearly four
billion dollars a year.* That equals the cost of treating childhood asthma or even ADHD.
Di Lorenzo, who is also with the Ohio State University, says parents don’t realize constipation
can be just as serious. It can result in pain, problems at school, and sometimes the need for
“It’s traumatic to them, then they end up with low self esteem as if something is wrong with
them and it’s really not,” says Hayat Mousa, MD at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
The good news is, most of the time, childhood constipation can be treated with simple changes
in diet and behavior, and sometimes mild medication. Now that Kevin is back in his routine, his
mom checks in with him regularly, to make sure he stays that way.
Here are some tips for parents:
- Don’t be shy, talk with you children about bowel movements just
like you discuss any other bodily function.
- Make sure your child is going at least every other day.
- If you find out your child hasn’t gone for three to four days, try prune or apple juice, high fiber cereal, or even a warm bath.
- Over the counter softeners or laxatives made for children can also help.
Don't be shy. Does anyone deal with this issue with their kids?
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