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Constipation in Children

Topic Overview

Constipation occurs when stools become hard and are difficult to pass. A child may cry because he or she is constipated. A crying episode usually occurs while the child is trying to pass a stool and normally will stop when the stool is passed.

Some parents are overly concerned about how often their child has a bowel movement because they have been taught that a healthy child has a bowel movement every day. This is not true. The frequency of bowel movements is not as important as whether the child can pass stools easily. If your child's stools are soft and pass easily, he or she is not constipated, even if it has been a few days since the last bowel movement.

Credits

Current as of: June 26, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine

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