Constipation Specialist

Kids and Tummies

Pediatric Gastroenterologist located in Gulfport, MS

Constipation in infants and children is not unusual but can be uncomfortable and concerning. The team at Kids and Tummies are knowledgeable and experienced at providing both temporary and long-term support for a child with acute or chronic constipation. For an appointment about your child’s constipation, call the office in Gulfport, Mississippi today or book online.

Constipation Q & A

What is constipation?

Constipation is a common problem with infants and children, when they have infrequent, or hard, difficult bowel movements. In most cases, constipation is a temporary problem, brought on by changes in diet or during potty training.

Your child’s bowel habits may change over time and may be different from other kids. Some children have one or more bowel movements a day, or may only go a few times a week. 

What are the symptoms of constipation?

Just because a child doesn’t have a bowel movement every day, doesn’t necessarily mean they are constipated.

Your child may have constipation if they:

  • Have less than three bowel movements a week
  • Complain of pain with bowel movements
  • Appear to have difficulty passing stool
  • Have stools that are larger than normal, dry, or hard
  • Have traces of blood on the surface of the stool
  • Complain or seem to have abdominal pain

If your child has constipation, it is usually easy to treat and prevent. 

How is constipation treated?

In most cases of childhood constipation, it is a temporary problem that is easily preventable and treatable.

To prevent and treat constipation, you can:

  • Increase fluid intake to 3-4 glasses of water a day
  • Give a serving of apple, pear, or prune juice daily
  • Increase intake of high fiber foods, such as whole grains, fruits, and veggies
  • Encourage daily physical activity
  • Encourage a regular eating schedule
  • Encourage regular attempts at having a bowel movement

These regular habits can go a long way in preventing constipation and causing quick improvement when it is a problem. 

At Kids and Tummies, the team addresses the clinical symptoms and discomfort associated with constipation, along with a thorough evaluation of medical and behavioral causes. They work closely with patients and families to establish individualized treatment plans to address constipation as well as fecal soiling.

When should I be concerned about my child’s constipation?

In most cases, constipation is a temporary condition. When your child has frequent or ongoing constipation for more than a couple of weeks, has blood in their stool, or severe abdominal pain, it is important to get them evaluated.

In rare cases, constipation may be chronic and cause long-term complications, that may include:

  • Severely painful bowel movements
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Bladder control problems
  • Fecal impaction, when stool is packed too much to be able to pass
  • Hemorrhoids, or enlarged blood vessels of the anus and rectum
  • Rectal prolapse, or when the rectum drops to outside the body
  • Breaks in the skin, increasing risk for infection

When your child suffers from chronic constipation or has complications of chronic constipation, the team at Kids and Tummies strives to give long-term treatment and support, so that your child may have the best quality of life possible.

If you’re concerned about your child’s acute or chronic constipation, call or book an appointment online with Kids and Tummies today.