This page is for pediatric patients; for adult patients see constipation.
- Hirschsprung's disease
- Congenital anorectal malformations
- Imperforate anus
- Bowel obstruction
- Neurologic disorders
- Spinal cord abnormalities: myelomeningocele, spina bifida, tethered cord
- Meconium ileus
- Metabolic causes
- Heavy-metal poisoning
- Medication side effects
Children (older than 1 year) Constipation
- Functional constipation (>95% of cases)
- Organic causes
0–3 Months Old
3 mo–3 y old
3 y old–adolescence
Glycerin suppositories or rectal stimulation with a lubricated rectal thermometer can be used if there is very hard stool in rectum, but may cause irritation and develop tolerance.
- Not yet begun solid foods
- Sorbitol-containing juices (eg, apple, prune, or pear)
- For infants four months and older, starting dose: 2-4 ounces of 100-percent fruit juice per day
- Karo syrup, add 1 tsp to 4 oz cooled, boiled water; give 1 oz of solution to baby just before feeds twice a day until stool softens
- Who have begun solid foods
- Sorbitol-containing fruit purees (e.g. pureed prunes).
- Substitute multigrain or barley cereal for rice cereal
Toddlers and children
- Tables on neonatal constipation differential and normal stool/urine output.
- Baby Care Advice. http://www.babycareadvice.com/babycare/microsites/infant_constipation/infant_constipation.old.htm.
- Helman, A. Morgenstern, J. Ivankovic, M. Long, B. Reid, S. Swaminathan, A. EM Quick Hits 25 – Cerebral Venous Thrombosis, Diphenhydramine Alternatives, Abdominal Compartment Syndrome, Neonatal Constipation, Intubating Metabolic Acidosis. Emergency Medicine Cases. January, 2021. https://emergencymedicinecases.com/em-quick-hits-jan2021/ Accessed 1/26/2021