Concerned about Child Constipation?

Although constipation is relatively common in children, as a parent it can be difficult to know exactly when you should be concerned.

It helps to understand what causes constipation in children, how to relieve and prevent constipation, and what signs parents can look for to know when to seek additional medical help.

Young girl holding here stomach in pain

DocuSol® Kids - Common Causes of Child Constipation

How is Constipation Caused in Children?

Constipation can be caused in children a variety of ways. Some of the most common are as follows:

Diet: A diet change that does not feature an adequate amount of fiber and/or non-diuretic fluid can cause constipation. A diet that is higher in fiber and lower in processed foods, sugar, fat, and sodium helps prevent constipation. It may also help to reduce dairy and protein intake while your child is constipated to get things moving again!

Illness: When children don’t feel well, they often experience a change in diet and/or appetite loss. Even these subtle changes can cause a change in their regularity and lead to constipation. It’s important to include fiber and adequate hydration in your child’s diet, even when they aren’t feeling well.

Medical Conditions: Some medical conditions, whether temporary or chronic, can cause constipation.

Medicine: Some medicines can include constipation as a potential a side effect, including antacids, cold medications, antidepressants, and pain relievers.

Stool Withholding: Sometimes, seemingly out of the blue, your child may resist going poop. This could be because they are fearful of using a public toilet, are having fun playing with friends, are away from home (such as at school or daycare), or are feeling stressed or anxious. Withholding for too long can lead to constipation.

Routine Change: A change in your child’s routine is a common cause of constipation. A change in routine can include starting or stopping school or daycare, traveling, an inconsistent bathroom routine, and more.

DocuSol® Kids - Child Constipation Signs & Symptoms

When Should I Begin to Worry About My Child’s Constipation?

Constipation in children is common, with 25-30% of toddlers and younger children struggling with it at some point. About 95% of these children have functional constipation, which means that it's not due to a "secondary" cause, such as medical conditions or medications.

It’s always advisable to check with a doctor if your child is constipated. Often, pediatricians recommend trying at-home remedies to relieve your child's constipation first.

Home Remedies for Constipation

While trying home remedies to relieve your child’s constipation, it is advisable to keep a daily log of your child’s food/liquid intake, amount of exercise, any routine changes, sleep habits, and symptoms to search for a possible cause and determine what helps and what doesn’t.

If your child is still experiencing frequent constipation after two weeks, contact your child's pediatrician again. Provide the daily log to the pediatrician and all your observations about your child’s signs and symptoms. Your pediatrician will advise you on the best treatment for your child's specific needs.

Do Home Remedies for Constipation in Kids Work?

Yes, they do! There are steps that you can take at home that can both prevent and alleviate constipation in children. Home remedies you can try include abdominal massage, maintaining a bathroom routine, adding fiber to their diet, ensuring they stay hydrated, and increasing their exercise.

What is the Best Kids Constipation Quick Relief Remedy?

The best quick relief remedy you can perform at home if your child is experiencing constipation is to feed them a fiber-rich diet and plenty of water. After waiting at least 30 minutes after a meal, get them up and moving. Have them run, play, and wiggle their belly to encourage the stool to move through their system. If your child’s pediatrician recommends it, stool softener laxatives are a gentle, safe way to help things along as well.

What is Considered Severe Constipation in Children?

Constipation is a common occurrence in children and should not cause panic right away. Often, with the application of home remedies, it will solve itself. However, if your child experiences constipation for more than 2 weeks or it is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, you should take your child to the doctor:

  • Fever
  • Lack of appetite/ Refusing to eat
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Weight loss
  • Pain during bowel movements
  • Blood in the stool
  • Occurrence of rectal prolapse (when part of the intestine comes out of the anus)

DocuSol® Kids - Child Constipation Relieve

How Can I Quickly Relieve My Kid’s Constipation?

The fastest way to relieve your child’s constipation - if home remedies don’t work - is through over-the-counter or prescribed medications recommended by a pediatrician. The time it takes medication to work varies considerably, depending on the medication and your child’s symptoms.

What Medication is Safe to Give My Kid for Constipation?

Every child is different, and as such the medication your pediatrician recommends will depend on your particular child. Laxatives come in four basic categories, and some act more quickly and have fewer side effects than others.

Stool Softeners

Stool softeners, such as docusate sodium and docusate calcium, alleviate constipation by absorbing fluid into the bowel from surrounding bodily tissues. This softens the stool and allows for more comfortable passing. Stool softeners are generally considered the safest and most gentle form of laxative.

Hyperosmotic Laxatives

Hyperosmotic laxatives such as glycerin relieve constipation by increasing the amount of water in the intestines to allow easier passage of the stool. Like stool softeners, hyperosmotic laxatives are generally considered safe with few side effects.

Stimulant Laxatives

Stimulant laxatives, such as bisacodyl and sennosides, work by stimulating the rectal muscles, which activates them to push stool out of the body. Stimulant laxatives can have unpleasant side effects, like bloating, gas, cramping, and diarrhea.

Lubricant Laxatives

Lubricant laxatives, such as mineral oil, alleviate constipation by adding a slippery coat to the bowel, covering stool in lubrication, and making it slippery and easier to pass. Lubricant laxatives can interfere with the absorption of certain vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K).

Best Children’s Constipation Medicine for Fast Action

The best medication for a quick relief remedy for your kid's constipation is with a stool softener applied rectally. DocuSol® Kids mini-enema typically takes between 2 and 15 minutes to work, allowing you and your child to get back to a regular routine.

DocuSol® Kids Can Help!

Docusol Kid's Enema box

Sometimes, despite all of your best efforts to provide optimal nutrition, hydration, and exercise, kids still need a little help relieving constipation.

DocuSol® Kids is a first-of-its-kind mini enema containing a non-irritating stool-softening laxative that works by drawing water into the bowel from surrounding body tissues, replicating a normal bowel movement. This unique formulation provides children ages 2–12 fast, predictable relief of constipation within 2 – 15 minutes.

DocuSol® Kids was designed for easy use at home. The DocuSol® Kids tube is designed to offer a minimally invasive, soft, and flexible tip, avoiding any scratching or irritation to the skin. Just a 5-milliliter tube delivering 100mg of docusate sodium, the medication provides fast relief in just a few, easy steps!

Learn more about DocuSol® Kids on our website, including where to buy, doctor tips, family resources, and frequently asked questions.

Disclaimer: The material contained is for reference purposes only. Alliance Labs, LLC, and Summit Pharmaceuticals do not assume responsibility for patient care. Consult a physician prior to use. Copyright 2021 Summit Pharmaceuticals and Alliance Labs, LLC.