From our previous constipation post, we discussed what can cause constipation and how to tell if your child is suffering with it. There are a few things that parents can do right away to help alleviate current constipation and prevent it in the future.
In order to help your child have normal bowel habits, water intake is extremely important. You can ensure proper intake of clear liquids daily using the chart below. The amounts listed does not include other non-clear beverages like milk.
During the hot summer months or during seasons of increased activities (sports) your child will need even more clear liquid intake to maintain proper hydration.
In addition to appropriate clear liquid intake, it's also very important that your child has proper intake of dietary fiber daily. This can be estimated by using the following formula:
Age (in years) + 5 = Goal fiber intake (in grams)
[Example: a 3-year-old child should consume approximately 8 grams of dietary fiber daily]
There are wide varieties of foods that contain fiber-- which is good for any kids that has a hard time eating new things! Basically, fruits, vegetables and whole grains contain fiber. Check out this blog post for fiber rich food ideas.
If you are ever concerned about your child’s bowel movements, talk with their pediatrician. Simple changes in diet and hydration status may be the answer, however sometimes a more in-depth treatment approach is necessary.