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Constipation in children

Medicine, nutrition – and a lot of patience

Treating wounds

In babies and young toddlers, the bottom and anus need care to get rid of inflammation. Usually, the child is also given a medicine to soften the stool. From the age of six months, a macrogol is usually used for this purpose. Its long-term use does not cause any problems either.

According to the DGKJ, a change in diet is just as important for long-term normal bowel movements. Fruit, diluted juices and whole grain products naturally ensure well-formed stools of normal consistency. In infants, an intolerance to cow's milk protein can cause the constipation, according to the DGKJ. If this is suspected, an omission test will help. Allergy tests are too inaccurate to rule out this cause.

In acute and severe cases of constipation, glycerine suppositories or mini enemas bring quick relief. However, parents may only use these aids if the child does not resist and if the child's bottom is not acutely inflamed.

Explain the therapy

Kindergarten and school children can already be told in simple terms what is wrong with their digestion. Here, too, paediatricians and adolescent doctors often start with macrogol to quickly break the vicious circle of holding back the stool and constipation. Because the urge to go to the toilet occurs mainly after main meals, parents should remind their children to go to the toilet after every big meal. The child should be able to sit comfortably on the toilet, for example with a stool or child seat, and may also look at a book while doing so. Time pressure, on the other hand, is harmful. The DGKJ writes that words of praise after having successfully defecated are helpful.

Enemas and clysters usually do not bring success. On the contrary, the agonising procedures increase the children's anxiety and worsen the problem. Older children and adolescents should also be fed a diet rich in fibre, fruit juice (for example, a glass of diluted apple or pear juice before breakfast) fruit and raw vegetables. An absolute no to chocolate - known as a stuffing food - does not have to be. Here too, the dose makes the poison.

The DGKJ puts it in a nutshell: children who suffer from constipation need, in addition to the medical measures and diet mentioned, above all this: patience and understanding from their parents.

Deutsch/German Englisch/English
Abführmittel laxative
After anus
Anus anus
Analfissur anal fissure
Darm bowel, intestine
Einlauf enema
Entspannung relaxation
Geduld patience
Großes Geschäft defecate, »number two«
Hämorrhoide haemorrhoide
Heilen heal
Kinderaufsatz children’s attachment
Milcheiweiß milk protein
Po butt
Pressen press
Schemel stool
Schimpfen scold
Teufelskreis vicious circle
Toilettengang toilet visit
Verstopfung constipation
Wunde wound, sore
Vocabulary
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