Certain medicines, changes in eating habits, and being less active can cause your child’s bowels to move less often and stools to become harder to pass (constipation). If your child is constipated, your doctor, nurses, or dietitian may suggest adding high-fiber foods to your child’s diet. Examples of high-fiber foods include whole-grain breads and cereals, raw fruits and vegetables, dried fruits, beans, and nuts. Drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day, eating at regular times, and increasing physical activity can also help relieve constipation.

Laxatives should only be used if OK’d by your doctor first. Talk to your doctor or nurse about how long your child can go without a bowel movement before you need to do something.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Last Revised: June 30, 2014

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