Travel can be a cause of suffering

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Young children often suffer from constipation. This can have various reasons and requires patience and composure from the parents.

Munich – At the age of two to three and a half years, children usually learn to use the potty. However, at this stage, young children often already have problems with digestion and suffer from constipation. This is a relatively common phenomenon that can also be caused by travel, among other things – and is usually very distressing for children.

Constipation in children on vacation: Travel can also be a cause of suffering

When a child suppresses the urge to use the potty, this can lead to constipation and be very painful. (iconic image) © Westend61 / IMAGO

There are various causes and triggers that can be responsible for constipation in children. Breeding errors, which experts say are often made by parents who use lawnmowers or helicopters, or behavioral disturbances play a lesser role. Alternatively, a new daily routine – for example, when a child comes to nursery – can mean that he puts off big business or that having a bowel movement becomes more difficult. If you go on vacation with your child and go on a trip where they eat unfamiliar foods, this may also be the reason for difficult bowel movements.

Some youngsters suddenly become afraid of the toilet during the flushing phase and then refuse to take a seat. On the other hand, it can also happen that a child finds it difficult in big business. Next time he remembers it and wants to avoid that experience stored as unpleasant. However, this can lead to a vicious cycle: the child resists the urge, causing the stool to hold in place and eventually harden. Next time big business hurts more. Dr. Martin Claassen, chief physician at the Clinic for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine at the Parents and Children’s Center Professor Hess in Bremen, warns of the danger of chronic constipation.

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Signs of constipation can include abdominal pain and decreased appetite

There are many warning signs that your child is constipated. It does not depend on how often the child goes to the toilet, but on the side effects. In children, for example, the stool becomes more solid for the first time as soon as they drink not only milk, but also eat porridge. Before that, there was no constipation in infants. Hard stools that cause pain, abdominal pain, or frequent brown streaks in your clothes can be signs of constipation. If the suffering lasts longer, children often feel a lack of appetite. They may also consciously suppress the urge to go to the bathroom.

What can parents do about constipation in children?

If your toddler suffers from constipation, you can counteract his suffering by following a proper diet. Instead of bananas, cocoa, chocolate and fast food, you should rely on dried fruits, pears and pumpkin for constipation. The former foods cause constipation, while the latter tend to make the stools loose. In addition, whole grain products such as muesli have a positive effect on digestion. Youngsters should also get enough opportunity to exercise, as running and having fun is also good for their digestion. When going to the toilet, you must make sure that your child gets enough rest and create a comfortable and enjoyable atmosphere for him. Also, make sure your child drinks enough fluids.

However, if the child has constipation, you should not fiddle for a long time, but consult a doctor as soon as possible. Parents should wait a maximum of two weeks and then seek support from the pediatrician. “You can just get rid of constipation without additional pain, and the process shouldn’t be painful,” Claassen says. Children are often given a stool softener first. In order to clear a bowel movement, they are then given a laxative suppository or a small enema. This process can usually take several months and requires patience and composure from the parents.

This article contains only general information on the relevant health topic and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medication. It does not in any way replace a visit to the doctor. Unfortunately, our editors are not allowed to answer individual questions about clinical images.

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