Kids can be picky about the foods they eat and the clothes they wear.  Sometimes they just don’t want to take a bath, even when they really need one or use the restroom even if they really should. As a parent, it’s important to keep an eye on your child’s behavior to make sure it doesn’t become detrimental to their health and wellbeing.

So what should you do if you realize your child is routinely suffering from constipation?

First of all, let’s define functional constipation. Functional constipation presents itself when factors occur such as having a low-fiber diet, routinely not sitting still long enough to try to pass stool, and/or experiencing pain while passing stool.

As a result, remembering the pain from past experiences can cause your child to purposely avoid making a bowel movement and hold it in. The important thing to know about this type of constipation is that it is treatable.

This type of digestive issue is not caused by physical or hormonal issues that typically cause difficulty making bowel movements, but by psychological or neurological issues. When it happens, a treatment plan developed by a physical therapist, including proper pelvic floor muscle retraining, could be extremely helpful in finding relief.

Solely prescribing a laxative to a child dealing with functional constipation is like putting a poorly placed Band-Aid on a growing open wound. The muscles of the pelvic floor region are most likely weak from sitting on the toilet with poor posture. In addition to learning how to have proper posture, they must also learn how to effectively contract and relax to make it easier to pass stool.

These muscles need to be strengthened in order to work properly with the lower back muscles, diaphragm, and abdomen to support the digestive system. Apart from a physical therapist’s treatment recommendations, an analysis of your child’s diet and fluid intake should be done to ensure that all essential components of proper digestion are working together.

As a parent, you want what’s best for your child, especially if that means relieving a difficult or painful experience. If you’ve noticed that your child is having trouble going, don’t wait until they’re older when damage has already been done.

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