If you think your child may be constipated, it’s vital to treat it immediately. Professional, convenient, and accessible, your local pharmacist can advise on how to treat your child safely and effectively. Before you go to the pharmacy, write down all the child’s symptoms so you can describe them accurately and don’t forget anything. The pharmacist will be able to advise if something more serious is a possibility, in which case they will refer you to your GP.
The charity, Bladder and Bowel UK, give the following as signs to look out for:
The Bristol Stool Scale
This is incredibly useful for detecting constipation. ERIC, the children’s bowel, and bladder charity, provides details of the Bristol Stool Scale with a “poo diary” to monitor a child’s bowel movements. See: https://www.eric.org.uk/pdf-poo-diary
There are many over the counter remedies available but not all are available for over the counter sale in young children. However, Docusol Paediatric liquid is for infants and children and is suitable for little ones from the age of six months. It contains docusate which is a well-established stool softener. In other words, it moistens the stool (poop). It has a gentle action working by increasing the amount of water the stool absorbs in the gut, making the stool softer and easier to pass. It is also convenient and easy for the child to take.
Avoiding future problems
Fruit and fibre are so important for avoiding constipation and resolving it if it occurs. Make sure your child drinks plenty of fluid and try to be creative and offer as much variety as possible when it comes to the foods you give your child. Wholemeal bread, baked beans, wholegrain cereals may be easy wins but there are other tricks to try:
Dr Nisa Aslam is a GP and advisor to Docusol Paediatric.