Constipation in Children and Teens

Constipation in Children

Lots of children suffer from constipation -- bowel movements that are hard or painful. Your child may become constipated because of toilet-training troubles or anxiety related to using the toilet. Or, he may not be getting enough fiber or liquids in his diet or may not be getting enough exercise.

This health decision guide will help you understand what causes constipation, how you can ease your child's discomfort, and when it is necessary to contact your pediatrician. Proceed through the questions -- unless you are instructed to seek medical help.

For questions about constipation in infants, please visit our Constipation in Infants Guide.

Click here to begin.

Bowel habits vary from child to child. Some children have a bowel movement every day, others go every few days. Two to three days between bowel movements generally are not cause for concern, as long as your child is not having pain or vomiting.

Do any of these statements describe your child?

  • He has not had a bowel movement for more than three days.

  • He has hard, painful stools.

  • He does not have stools very often and when he does, they are very large, sometimes clogging the toilet.

Yes, one or more of these statements describe my child.

No, this does not describe my child.

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