Simple constipation in childhood is very common. It causes misery for children and families, and accounts for a substantial proportion of paediatric outpatient activity. By the time these children see a specialist, the problem is often entrenched. Optimal early management – including appropriate laxatives, in sufficient dose, for a sufficient period of time - will prevent the need for referral in many instances.
This is a generic guideline for NHS Highland. We intend in particular to support General Practitioners in the management of childhood constipation, and facilitate interdisciplinary working when necessary. It has been updated in line with NICE clinical guidance CG99.
It helps if the family and the health professional share the same understanding of the problem and its management. I recommend that professionals familiarise themselves with the advice leaflet for parents.
This resource is intended to facilitate management, rather than replace clinical judgement. The supporting documentation can either serve as an aide-memoire, or be used to develop a detailed record of history, examination, and response to treatment, as preferred.