Constipation is very common in all age groups. Often it is due to a diet poor in fibre and / or fluid but it is still commonly seen in children who are good eaters. There is a huge variation in what people consider to be normal pooing. Some go three times a day others 2-3 a week. When decreased bowel movements are associated with symptoms such as pain on pooing, poor appetite, tummy pain, excessive straining, blood in nappy or on wiping, fear of pooing ( usually due to fear of painful pooing) with jigging and dancing, crossinglegs and hiding to prevent pooing and / or soiling in the underwear then constipation has reached a point where action needs to be taken. Drug manuals still advise GPs to use small doses of laxatives for children which are often simply not enough to cure the problem. 10-20% of paediatric clinics are now taken up with severe constipation. Many of the children have had problems for years before referral. Paediatricians have lots of experience and confidence to use much higher doses of medicine required to get the problem sorted.

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