First Aid

    Constipation is a common problem in which a child may have fewer bowel movements (BMs or poops) than usual. It usually isn't a cause for too much concern.

    Constipation can often get better with the three Fs: fluids, fiber, and fitness.

    What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Constipation?

    • fewer bowel movements than usual
    • straining and pain during bowel movements
    • stool (poop) that's hard, dry
    • larger stools than usual
    • feeling full or bloated
    • belly pain
    • a little blood on the toilet paper after a BM

    What to Do

    • Give your child plenty of water or juice. If your baby is constipated, ask the doctor about adding prune, apple, or pear juice to the daily diet.
    • Increase the fiber in your child's diet. Try apples, pears, oranges, beans, oatmeal, and whole-grain breakfast cereals or breads.
    • Encourage daily exercise to help your child have regular bowel movements.
    • Talk to your doctor before giving your child any medicine for constipation.

    Get Medical Care if Your Child Has:

    • constipation lasting a week
    • liquid stool in the underwear when your child isn't sick
    • severe belly pain
    • vomiting
    • eating less

    Think Prevention!

    Skip fatty, sugary, or starchy foods, which can slow the bowels down. Choose fiber-rich foods instead.

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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