Is It Safe to Use a Stool Softener for Kids?
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When kids grow up, passing stools is an activity that can sometimes become hard for them. Due to a lack of moisture or other reasons, their stool gets hardened, and constipation becomes a real problem to tackle. Kids can also feel stress and pain due to this and, suddenly, passing stools becomes quite the challenge.
However, there are certain stool softeners for infants that can ease the stress on their digestive system and help them excrete in a more comfortable manner
Can You Use a Stool Softener for Child Constipation?
Of course, you can! Stool softeners are just tiny capsules of glycerine that can ease the stress being faced in the rectum. However, stool softener should not be given to babies less than 1-year-old. Before using them, it is important that you understand why children face constipation problems.
Most of the time, constipation occurs because your child has less moisture in his waste material, which doesn’t help in passing it easily. The intestines try to retain the maximum amount of water inside the body. Some substances or conditions may suck out any water inside the stool passing through intestines, making them dry and rough. The muscles inside the child’s lower intestines or rectum can get stretched because they are holding large amounts of hardened stool. Due to the stretching of the rectum, it becomes weaker and makes it harder for the child to pass stools. Since they aren’t able to understand what’s happening at that young age, kids become nervous when they have to poop, and will withhold it in, which only makes the condition worse.
Frequncy of motion passage varies from multiple times in a day to once even in a week. The symptoms of constipation begin to appear if your child hasn’t passed motion as per his routine, and appears to be strained while defecating. He may also complain of stomach ache and begin getting really fussy or irritable. The other signs of constipation include tummy fullness, passing gas, refusal to eat, vomiting or dark, hard and/or blood-tinged stools. Infants demonstrate a spasmodic drawing up of their legs during defecation, which acts as a sign of the same.
However, stool softeners make work easier for children because they add that extra bit of moisture required. They are mostly filled with glycerine that is safe to be injected into the body and lubricates the child’s anal lining when it is placed inside the rectum. There are many other natural stool softeners for toddlers that can be tried out and used. Also, foods rich in fibre or some medicines may help to manually push stool outside by forming bulk.
It is generally advised to use these stool softeners after consulting a paediatrician so that they can medically eliminate any side-effects that your child might face due to other health concerns.
Stool Softeners for Children You Can Try
There are a lot of stool softeners that you can try to administer to your child in case they are facing problems defecating. By giving them these, they will be able to poop much easily and alleviate any of the fears that they face. Here is a list of some of the most effective stool softeners that you can provide:
1. Natural Stool Softener for Toddlers
The first and most effective way to help kids get rid of their stool fears is to provide them with a natural option. There are many natural stool softeners that toddlers can consume that will help to push stool outside manually and help strengthen the muscles in their excretory system. The most effective natural softener for any sort of constipation is a high fibre diet.
A natural softener includes foods that are packed with fibre such as veggies and fruits, cereals that are high in fibre and whole grain bread along with beans and legumes as well. The intake of fluids is extremely crucial as well at this young age. Your child must drink a lot of water along with the milk. This helps in loosening the stools and also aids in proper digestion over time.
Another natural option is to mix Epsom salt along with water as it helps in curing constipation and can be used in children older than 6 years only. Roughly 2-4 spoons of Epsom salt is ideal for a child over 12 years while, for those between 6 to 11 years, the maximum dosage must be 1-2 teaspoons.
2. Suppository Stool Softeners
These stool softeners are ones that can be purchased off a local pharmacy. However, it is important that you consult a doctor and get a prescription for the same before you proceed with these stool softeners.
Suppository stool softeners are tiny rocket-shaped capsules that are full of glycerine. They can be inserted into the child’s rectum and will lubricate their inner anal lining. The hardened faeces will also get lubricated and will mitigate or eliminate the pain that the child faces when they defecate. While suppository softeners are safe, as mentioned before – it is always better to consult a doctor to know how long you can keep administering them for.
3. Ayurvedic Stool Softeners
Another good alternative for anyone who wants to go the natural way is by using ayurvedic stool softeners. Ayurvedic herbs can be given to your child mixed with water or any other liquid substance to help them get rid of constipation. Herbs such as Triphala Churna, Gandharva Haritaki, Sat Isabgol, Avipattikara and many more can help treat constipation. However, you need to be careful so that there are no side-effects.
Alternatively, you can also mix Abhyarishta along with water two times a day and let your child consume the same. It is a safe mix that will help your child feel more comfortable. There are no major side effects that will affect them.
4. Homoeopathic Stool Softeners
Another effective way to cure constipation is homoeopathic stool softeners. These medicines are natural and do not have any effect on your child. However, it is important that you consult a specialist before you go ahead and administer it to your child.
One of the homoeopathic medicines that is generally prescribed is Alumnia 30 if your child has a lot of strain while passing soft stools. They can also be given to kids who complain of hard stools.
Bryonia Alba 30 is another medicine that will help loosen the hard stools. If there is obstinate constipation and no result while defecating, you can administer Paraffinium 30.
5. Herbal Remedies for Constipation
Homemade constipation remedies are the best way to go about to help kids get rid of their constipation issues. Prune juice is one of the best home remedies you can administer to your kid. It is a natural laxative which helps children release soft stools.
Another alternative for baby stool softener home remedies is rubbing and massaging your child’s belly, as this can ease any discomfort. You can also bathe your kid in warm water and this will relax the muscles in the rectum.
Ensure that your child is comfortable with whatever medicine you give him because some medicines can cause an allergic reaction. Ensure you consult a doctor before you go ahead and provide him with any medicine just to be on the safer side.