Constipation is a common problem for children. Children who are constipated will often hold in their poop and try not to go to the bathroom. Children will tighten their bottoms, cry, scream, hide in corners, cross their legs, shake, get red in the face or dance around to try to hold in their poop. Parents often confuse these behaviors for trying to pass poop when actually children are trying to hold it in.

When your child is having trouble with constipation, he/she may have:

  • A decrease in how often he/she poops, may skip days between pooping
  • Hard, dry poop  
  • Trouble pushing poop out of his/her rectum
  • Pain with pooping
  • Abdominal bloating, cramping or pain
  • Small liquid stools or smears of stool in his/her underwear