Constipation is defined as having three or fewer bowel movements per week, and while some children might pass stool every day, others can go days at a time with no ill effects. However, there comes a time when the symptoms of toddler constipation should not be ignored.

Symptoms of Constipation in Toddlers

When a toddler is constipated the most direct evidence is the condition of the stool. The fecal matter may be larger than usual, as well as dry and dense, with small amounts of blood on the exterior. The child may soil themselves and complain that it hurts to pass stool.

They may start to avoid the toilet, trying to delay having a bowel movement, or exhibit bloating or a swollen abdomen, among other symptoms. If constipation lasts two weeks or more toddler constipation is defined as chronic, and the child has a higher risk of fecal impaction.

What Causes Toddler Constipation?

There are many different causes of toddler constipation. The most typical are dehydration from not getting enough water and not eating enough fiber in their diet. Other causes are more complex and can include medicines such as anticonvulsants, narcotics, antispasmodics, and anticholinergics.

Extreme and unusual causes of toddler constipation including irritable bowel syndrome, cancer, celiac disease, metabolic disorders, and hormonal imbalances. Other causes are psychological, such as feeling stress over toilet training, embarrassment, or fears of having a painful bowel movement. Seeing a Phoenix pediatric doctor to determine causes and treatments is the best course when constipation seems to be happening frequently.

See a Pediatrician

Toddler constipation can be alarming. Your first response should be to see pediatric doctors in Phoenix who can properly assess your toddler’s condition and recommend a course of treatment. The pediatricians at Pediatrix are experienced physicians who specialize in being a full-service medical practice just for kids.

Children are not adults, and especially in a medical situation should not be treated as such. Pediatric medicine is a specialty and a necessity that ensures your child is receiving the best possible and most appropriate care for their age and stage of development. Request an appointment today.