Many events may precipitate functional constipation in children. Informed parental involvement is essential for its successful management.
- One of the commonest gastrointestinal complaints in childhood, constipation affects almost one in six children.
- Most children presenting with constipation have functional or reservoir constipation related to withholding-behaviour, and not a pathological disorder.
- Careful history and examination should detect any underlying pathological causes.
- Management of functional constipation in children involves education, disimpaction, maintenance and ongoing review.
- Educating the parent about constipation encourages long term compliance. Education messages should be repeated at every visit.