Key points about constipation in children
- Constipation is the most common GI (gastrointestinal) problem.
- You may be constipated when your stools are painful and happen less than three times a week.
- Your stool will be hard, dry and in small pieces.
- Your stools get hard and dry when your colon absorbs too much water.
- Constipation symptoms can include stomach cramps and feeling tired.
- Constipation can cause other health problems such as hemorrhoids (red, swollen veins in the rectum).
- Making diet and lifestyle changes can reduce constipation symptoms. These changes can also stop constipation from happening.
Frequently Asked Questions
Prevention and Risk Assessment
What is constipation?
What causes constipation in children?
Why is constipation in children a concern?
What are the symptoms of constipation in children?
Can constipation be prevented?
How is constipation in children diagnosed?
When should you contact a healthcare provider?
What are treatments for constipation in children?
Foods with fiber
What is the long-term outlook for a child with constipation?
Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Treatment at Children's National Hospital
Our pediatric experts are dedicated to providing comprehensive and personalized care for your child to treat and manage the full range of digestive disorders. Discover more about the treatment we offer.
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Providers Who Treat Constipation
Departments that Treat Constipation
Comprehensive Motility Program
The Motility Program works to help treat a number of motility issues impacting your child's digestive tract, including abdominal pain, aspirating, constipation and incontinence. Learn more about our Comprehensive Motility Program.
Pediatric Aerodigestive Clinic
Our Aerodigestive Clinic provide specialized care for children with airway problems and feeding disorders.
Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
Our gastroenterology experts provide expert diagnosis and treatments for children with digestive, liver and nutrition disorders.