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What should I know when using a stool softener to treat constipation in children?

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A stool softener to clear the bowels is safe to use on children, but they should be used under the supervision of your pediatrician. Two common mistakes that parents make when giving their child a stool softener for constipation is not using a large enough dose, or stopping it too soon. For example, you might think that you can stop giving a stool softener after your child’s first normal-looking bowel movement, but stopping too soon may just set your child up for another bout of constipation. Some children may need to stay on a stool softener for a few weeks. Your doctor can advise you on the right dosing schedule for your child.

SOURCES:

Medscape: "Treatment of Childhood Constipation by Primary Care Physicians: Efficacy and Predictors of Outcome."

Deb Cloney, M.D., pediatric gastroenterologist, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Grand Rapids, Mich.

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: "Constipation in Children." 

 

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on June 25, 2019

SOURCES:

Medscape: "Treatment of Childhood Constipation by Primary Care Physicians: Efficacy and Predictors of Outcome."

Deb Cloney, M.D., pediatric gastroenterologist, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Grand Rapids, Mich.

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: "Constipation in Children." 

 

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on June 25, 2019

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How can regular toilet time help treat constipation in children?

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