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How is constipation in children relieved ?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 1579 Questions
Hello - My 4-y.o. son has not passed a stool in 8 days. He has a history of withholding his stools. We have followed recommendations of increasing liquid intake, child-specific laxatives, fleets, pedia-lax, etc. Today he vomited after drinking XXXXXXX juice, but afterwards appeared fine and was able to eat and drink. I suspect he has an impacted bowel - what are the treatment options?
Thanks :)
Posted Sat, 14 Apr 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 29 minutes later

Thanks for posting your query.

I can understand your concern for these symptoms and indeed if your son has not passed stools for 8 days then an urgent management is needed. It can be due to fecal impaction which is a large lump of dry, hard stool that remains stuck in the rectum and is often seen after long term constipation.

Moreover giving laxatives can worsen the condition because when the laxatives are stopped suddenly then the muscles of the intestines forget how to move stool or feces on their own.

Your son needs treatment in the form of mineral oil enema, glycerine suppositories or osmotic laxatives. If it is not successful then manual removal of the impacted stool which can be done by his pediatrician. Surgery is rarely needed to treat a fecal impaction and is taken as the last resort.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.
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