Story by: Norton Children's on December 7, 2020
Causes of constipation in children — exciting distractions from the potty and servings of sweet, rich foods — are plentiful at the holidays.
“Kids are notorious for having trouble with their regular diets,” said Jameel T. Clark, M.D., pediatrician with Norton Children’s Medical Group – Dixie, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine. “Add in a lot of cheese, cookies and other treats that you see this time of year, and you have a recipe for stomachaches.”
If your child hasn’t had a bowel movement in two or more days, constipation may be the cause.
To offset the holiday treats that may be binding them up, make sure your child is eating plenty of fiber and drinking several cups of water a day, depending on age. Also, avoid white bread, rice, potatoes, milk, cheese and bananas.
“We also see a lot of children who have stomach pain caused by reflux,” Dr. Clark said. “It often happens this time of year because children may be overeating or eating spicier than normal foods.”
Reflux occurs when the contents of the stomach move back up the esophagus instead of staying in the stomach. This can cause pain, burping and heartburn.
The answer? Remove foods that seem to be causing these symptoms.
“Most of the time reflux can be managed with dietary changes,” Dr. Clark said. “However, if the pain continues, call your pediatrician.”
You can call your Norton Children’s Medical Group pediatrician, no matter what time it is, even if the office is closed. After-hours calls are managed by specially trained registered nurses who can help you make decisions on how to manage your child’s care.
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Try these high-fiber recipes to help your child’s digestive system: