The prevalence of functional constipation (FC) in infants and toddlers is approximately 20 per cent. The diagnosis of FC requires a history of straining or pain with defecation, hard or large stools that may obstruct the toilet, infrequent bowel movements (BMs), retentive behaviors, and/or encopresis. Often, the chief complaint is colicky abdominal pain, which can mimic more sinister diagnoses which are often missed such as appendicitis, intussusception and bowel obstruction.
Our Bottom Line Recommendations for pediatric constipation are now available in French and English. Click here to find a summary with key facts and guidance for the management of pediatric constipation.