Constipation affects children just as much as adults. It can be uncomfortable, inconvenient, and even sometimes dangerous. In this episode of AskMeDoctor!, we had a chat with consultant paediatrician Dr Rakhee to learn about what parents can do when their kids are experiencing childhood constipation. Q1: What causes constipation in kids? A few things can cause constipation in kids. Not enough fibre, not drinking enough fluids, being too inactive, holding in bowel movements, certain medications, and, of course, even certain medical conditions can also be the culprits in children. Sometimes, when you are toilet training your kids, you may find it difficult to get them to stay on the potty bowl. This results in less frequent bowel movements, which then lead to constipation. This is actually a very common thing among children. They tend to experience this because of fear or sometimes uncertainty about using the potty or the \u2018big kid toilet\u2019. They may think that a bowel movement will feel unpleasant or painful. Sometimes they may even believe that potty training may interrupt their playtime. This causes them to delay their potty. This will then eventually result in them developing constipation. Q2: Do you have any food tips to help with constipation in kids? First, load up their meals with fruits, veggies, whole grains and beans. These work wonders for the bowel movement. However, kids can sometimes be very picky. To combat this, you can actually do some plating. Something like a bento box with colourful fruits and veggies to attract them to eat. Now, the amount of fibre that your child needs depends on their age. On average, aim for 14 to 31 grams of fibre per day. But remember, don't go overboard. This is because too much fibre might also mess with their appetite and how their body absorbs nutrients. Be sure to keep an eye on their water intake as well. Because if they're chomping down lots of fibre without enough water, it could actually make their constipation worse. So, let's make sure that they stay hydrated when consuming extra fibre. Try to avoid sugary drinks and processed snacks, because, of course, that's going to make things worse as well. I'm also going to add in here that bananas may not be the absolute right fruit to use because certain enzymes in bananas can actually cause constipation. There are some kids whose constipation can improve when they eat bananas. But the opposite is also true. So, the chances are 50\/50 at best. Culturally, it's always: \u201cIf you're constipated, eat a banana. You'll be fine.\u201d But I prefer papayas. So, I think that would be my go-to for kids; and prunes as well. Q3: What about any lifestyle tricks to prevent or manage constipation in kids? The secret to keeping constipation at bay is to encourage your kids to be active and on the move. Let them go crazy.\u00a0Let them run around outside kampung style.\u00a0Or simply have a blast. Believe it or not, an active lifestyle will actually help to keep your kids' tummies happy and content. Another tip for parents out there as well: Create a bathroom schedule to help them get used to a routine. After a meal is usually most ideal. But remember, consistency is key. If your child goes to morning school, then don't create a routine in the morning. Start your child's bowel schedule when you're at home. If your child comes back from school after dinnertime, create a routine. My tip is that every day, half an hour after meals, simply ask them to go and sit down in the toilet. It doesn't matter whether or not anything comes out. The important thing is that you're creating that routine and that consistency. You're telling your child, "Okay, this is the time that we've got to go potty, because we're going to clean out our bowels." Q4: When should parents seek medical advice for their children\u2019s constipation? If all the at-home tricks and remedies don't do the trick, then, of course, things will get serious. I think it's time for you to call in the pros or go and see your healthcare professionals or your doctors. If your child starts seeing blood in their number twos or their poop. Or if the constipation becomes a real pain in the \u2018you know where\u2019. It's best to seek medical advice because a doctor can give them a thorough checkup and prescribe specific treatments to get things moving smoothly. They might suggest using laxatives such as macrogol 4000, bisacodyl cordial, or even an enema, if necessary. Macrogol 4000, for instance, works by softening and hydrating the stool. This regulates the rhythm of your kid's bowel movement. Bisacodyl on the other hand, is a stimulant laxative that acts on the nerves of the colon to produce a bowel movement. However, if things get really backed up, I think an enema is going to have to come to the rescue. You may be wondering if these treatments are safe for babies or very young children. Well, constipation typically starts rearing its head when the child starts munching on solids, or what we call 'weaning'. This will be somewhere around six months of age. So do visit your healthcare professionals or seek help with your doctors if you need any advice at this particular age. Because each child at every age will require different treatments. https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v3RBawxihSII Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice from Motherhood. For any health-related concerns, it is advisable to consult with a qualified healthcare professional or medical practitioner. For more insightful stories and fun recipes, stay tuned to Motherhood Story!