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Pediatric Constipation

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.


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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?

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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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Meet the Providers Who Treat Constipation

Departments that Treat Constipation

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Pediatric Aerodigestive Clinic

Our Aerodigestive Clinic provide specialized care for children with airway problems and feeding disorders.

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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.

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Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

Our gastroenterology experts provide expert diagnosis and treatments for children with digestive, liver and nutrition disorders.