Constipation

Northlake Children's Associates, P.A.

Pediatric Care & Pediatricians located in Mooresville, NC

Constipation is common in children, causing belly pain and affecting your child’s mood and desire to play. At Northlake Children’s Associates, PA, in Mooresville, North Carolina, experienced pediatricians Mary-Margaret James, MD, and Majé Goodwin, MD, work closely with you to develop a plan to improve your child’s constipation and bowel function. For an appointment, call the office today or book online.

Constipation Q & A

What are the signs of constipation?

Everyone’s bowel habits are different, even your child’s. Knowing what to look for may help determine if your child is suffering from constipation. Common signs of constipation include:

  • Hard, dry stools
  • Large stools that obstruct the toilet
  • Fewer than three bowel movements a week
  • Pain during a bowel movement
  • Complaints of belly pain
  • Blood in the stool


You may also notice clay-colored streaks of stool in your child’s underwear, which may indicate a stool backup in the colon.

What causes constipation?

Your child may be experiencing constipation for a number of reasons. Toilet training and a change in diet are the most common causes of constipation in children.

Other causes of constipation include:

  • Withholding
  • Changes in routine
  • Medication
  • Family history
  • Allergy to cow’s milk


Although very rare, sometimes constipation develops as a sign of an underlying health condition, such as a food intolerance or metabolic syndrome.

When should my child see the pediatrician for constipation?

In most cases, constipation isn’t a serious health issue. However, if your child’s constipation is a chronic problem or your child is in tears due to the pain, the pediatric specialists at Northlake Children’s Associates can evaluate your child and help you devise a plan to improve bowel function.

You should also come to the office if your child has a:

  • Fever
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Weight loss
  • Blood in the stool
  • Vomiting


If your child has tears in the tissue around the anus or an anal protrusion, referred to as rectal prolapse, you should also contact the office for an appointment.

How is my child’s constipation treated?

Your Northlake Children’s Associates doctor conducts a comprehensive evaluation when you come in for constipation to identify the underlying cause. Once it’s determined why your child is having such a hard time going to the bathroom, you and your pediatrician work together to devise an effective treatment plan.

Treatment may include:

  • Diet and lifestyle changes
  • Stool softeners
  • Laxative or enema


It may take some time for your child’s bowel habits to normalize, but once they do, it’s important to be consistent with the diet and lifestyle recommendations provided by the team at Northlake Children’s Associates to prevent a recurrence of constipation.

Your child’s constipation can affect their quality of life. For professional help from a caring and compassionate team, call Northlake Children’s Associates today or book an appointment online.