Every person’s bowel habits are unique; a daily bowel movement may not be the norm for everyone. Constipation refers to the character and consistency of the stool rather than the frequency of bowel movements. Stools that are small, hard, and dry characterize constipation. Children will withhold stools because of discomfort from hard stool. Stool collects in the rectum and makes it even more difficult to pass. As the rectum stretches, sensation will temporarily decrease. Thus, constipation becomes self-perpetuating and often more severe with time.
Things to Know about Children and Bathroom Time
Helping Your Child Overcome Constipation
Goal: Complete Evacuation of the Colon and Rectum. It usually requires 2-5 days to minimize cramping and pain when passing a massive impacted stool. Here are 3 options:
Enemas. Administer enemas at home each evening until your child passes a massive stool indicating that the colon is empty. The advantage of enemas is quick response, minimal cramping and predictable stooling time. Do not use more than 5 days. Avoid tap water, herbal, or soap suds enemas; these have been shown to cause water intoxication, bowel perforation, and other complications.
Oral. Magnesium Citrate 5 ounces twice a day for 2 days AND Ex-Lax Regular Strength Chocolate Squares – 2 squares twice a day for 3 doses (morning, night, morning)
Combination. Recommend doing on a day when there is no school. On this day, follow a full liquid diet (milk or yogurt, shakes, soups, juices, jello, applesauce)
AM: Give Ex-Lax Regular Strength Chocolate Squares – 3 squares prior to breakfast. Dissolve 4 scoops of Miralax (Polyethylene Glycol) in 4 cups of Gatorade, wait for it to dissolve and let your child drink 1 cup over 5 minutes every half hour.
4 PM: Administer one Liquid Glycerine Suppository (sold in a pack containing 4 small containers – not the solid)
Expect your child to pass several liquid stools during that day. If cramping occurs, get your child to lay on
the left side with knees bent and apply a heating pad to the belly.