When children withhold their stool

Learn about: When children withhold their stool from Lawrence Kagan, MD,...
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When children withhold their stool

Constipation is an issue that many, many children suffer from. Some children suffer from it right from the start. In the youngest children, I advocate natural remedies such as prune juice, maybe two to four ounces of prune juice daily for a young child who is having constipation. I have concerns about constipation. I spent a lot of time in an Emergency Department setting at Children's Hospital, and many of the children who come in and complain of abdominal pain. It really is just constipation. It's very concerning because constipation mean other things. At the end of the day, constipation also leads to, not only functional abdominal pain, but a lot of control issues. Children often go to school and they don't want to go to the bathroom at school. Maybe the school restroom isn't clean or they are uncomfortable doing it in front of their peers, then they hold. Once the child has a bad experience with going to the bathroom and it hurts them, they hold it some more, then it hurts more and they hold it some more. It gets worse and it's a vicious cycle. I think, as parents, we make sure that our children are going to the bathroom everyday. Even if that means using prune juice or pear juice -- apple juice doesn't work great -- daily to try to help them have soft, comfortable stools. We don't want them to have bowel issues.

Learn about: When children withhold their stool from Lawrence Kagan, MD,...


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Lawrence Kagan, MD


Lawrence Kagan, MD, FAAP, is a UCLA honors graduate, with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. He received medical training at USC Keck School of Medicine, and completed his internship and residency in Pediatrics at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. In addition to passionately studying neonatal, general pediatric and adolescent medicine at CHLA, he had the opportunity to train under some of the greatest minds in subspecialty pediatrics, diagnosing and managing the rarest and most complicated childhood ailments. Prior to opening Westside Pediatrics, he worked as an attending physician at the CHLA Emergency Department as well as at Cedars Sinai Urgent Care. Dr. Kagan is a native of Los Angeles and is happily married with two children.

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