Gastrointestinal problems are not only reserved for adults . In fact, short periods of constipation are relatively common and normal in children. Take this quiz and learn about childhood constipation, gastrointestinal reflux disease and kidney stones.
Constipation is defined as:
Even if your child is having one bowel movement every other day, he or she still may meet criteria for constipation. Constipation involves three or fewer bowel movements per week.
What is meconium?
A newborn's first bowl movements are thick and green colored. This form of stool is called meconium.
Which of the following babies is more likely to have constipation issues?
A formula-fed baby has harder stools and is more prone to constipation than a breast-fed baby. However, it is essential that a nursing mother gets enough fiber in her diet to prevent constipation in her nursing child.
What ingredient in baby formula leads to constipation in formula fed infants?
Both lactose and iron can contribute to constipation in formula fed babies. It is essential, however, that your infant get iron-fortified formula.
What is the desired stool consistency for infants who eat solid foods?
Pay attention to your infant's stool consistency once you introduce solid foods into his or her diet. Their stools should remain soft and easy to pass.
Periods of constipation in childhood are relatively normal. You should become concerned, however, if you child's constipation lasts longer than:
Your child may have chronic constipation if constipation occurs longer than two weeks.
What might happen if your child has chronic constipation?
A child with chronic constipation has painful and hard-to-pass bowel movements. Therefore, a constipated child will likely try to avoid passing these painful bowel movements.
How can you decrease the incidence of constipation in your child?
Your child's diet is essential for decreasing the incidence of constipation. Make sure your child drinks a lot of water each day. Your child's diet should also include recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
Most children with gastrointestinal reflux disease:
Gastrointestinal reflux disease does not just occur in adulthood. Children develop this condition due to their immature digestive systems, but most children will grow out of this disease by their first birthday.
What are the symptoms of gastrointestinal reflux disease in childhood?
The symptoms of gastrointestinal reflux disease in children are not the same as in adults. Children with this disease typically experience vomiting, coughing and respiratory problems.
Kidney stones are:
Kidney stones occur less often in children than in adults. Children that develop kidney stones may have a family history of kidney stone disease.
What can be found in the urine of a child that has kidney stones?
Calcium, xalate, cystine or uric acid are typically found in the urine of a child with kidney stones.
A child who has kidney stones likely has symptoms typically associated with:
Childhood urine infection and kidney stone symptoms are very similar, such as frequent urination and pain during urination.
What may place a child who has had kidney stones at future risk of developing more kidney stones?
It's important that your child gets assessed for metabolic disorders if he or she has kidney stones. A metabolic disorder would place your child at risk for developing future kidney stones.
What should be changed in your child's diet if your child has had kidney stones?
Above all else, you should increase your child's water intake if he or she has experienced kidney stones.
How does a doctor diagnose kidney stones?
A diagnosis of kidney stones in a child can be made either with an X-ray, ultrasound or CT scan.
Why is it important to know your child's type of kidney stones?
It's important for your doctor to determine the type of kidney stones, as this can help prevent future kidney stones in your child through specific diet changes.
Children with kidney stones rich in calcium should avoid:
Children with calcium kidney stones should eat more fruits and vegetables. They should also avoid dairy products and vitamin D supplements.
Children with kidney stones that have high levels of oxalate in their urine should avoid:
Children who have kidney stones and high urine oxalate levels in their urine should avoid a variety of foods, including strawberries, sweet potatoes, nuts, citrus juices, chocolate, cocoa, pepper, parsley, beets, spinach and dill.
Children with kidney stones will likely develop:
Although children with kidney stones are at increased risk of developing future stones, this can be adequately prevented with diet.
About HowStuffWorks Play
How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!