Let’s all agree that constipation isn’t the greatest – especially for kids. It’s also not the most comfortable topic to talk about, although I’m pretty sure we all know that having a happy bowel is important if you’re going to be a happy and healthy person.
The problem is that constipation can be the hidden culprit causing vague signs and symptoms that may go unnoticed until other problems emerge. I’m not trying to scare you – just hang in there with me for a bit. Let me tell you a story.
There once was a young lad who was having urinary problems and back aches. He would never seem to totally empty his bladder and would periodically endure bouts of all or some of the following signs and symptoms:
- Pain (back, abdominal and pelvic)
- Frequency (having to go all the time)
- Urgency (having to go RIGHT NOW!)
- Difficulty starting and stopping the flow of urination
- Frustration and sadness about all of the above
After multiple trips to see health care providers and numerous urine tests showing no indication of infection, the problem was finally realized.
This child was constipated. All those signs that normally lead one to assume a urinary problem were actually the result of a bowel issue. His urinary tract was being stressed out by constipation. Who knew?
Hearing about this reminded me that what we see may not always indicate what we might think. As parents, we draw from our experiences and sometimes make assumptions based on them. I think this is a good example of “things are not always as they appear.” Good thing there are professional health care providers to take care of the diagnosing for us! There’s parenting lesson number one – let’s try not to assume. 🙂
Parenting lesson Number 2 (no pun intended) is what parents can do to prevent constipation or to deal with it if your child is having problems.
Here are some links to help you help your child:
Tell us about your adventures with kids and constipation:
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For parenting information or to speak with a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) Simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000.
About this blogger:
Paula D’Orazio RN is a public health nurse with the Early Years Health Program at the Halton Region Health Department. Wanna know more about her? Read her blogs! She’ll tell ya! (She kinda likes to talk.)