Constipation is defined as no spontanious bowel movement for 3 days or greater. Although it can be uncomfortable, constipation is never life threatening.
Constipation is usually caused by a combination of not drinking enough fluids and/or not eating enough fiber. Therefore the first steps in treating constipation is to increase fluid intake and increasing fiber in the diet. We often use dietary fiber such as Miralax to help increase the fiber in a child's diet.
Often there is a hard bowel movement in the rectum which needs to be removed before we start the treatment of constipation. This can be accomplished with the use of glycerin suppositories or enemas*.
YOU SHOULD CALL THE OFFICE IF:
1. The constipation persists despite the use of increased fluids and fiber.
2. The constipation is associated with vomitng.
3. The child develops localized abdominal pain.
* Milk & Molasses Enema:
Milk and Molasses enemas are often used in children because it does not cause alteration in the electrolyte balance or minerals of the child.
1. Mix 3 oz. of milk with 3 oz. of molasses in a pan.
2. Heat the milk & molasses until they mix thoroughly.
3. LET THE MIXTURE COOL TO ROOM TEMPERATURE!
4. Pour mixture into an enema bag.
5. Raise the enema bag and let the mixture enter the body via gravity.
Repeat in 3-4 hours if needed