Dr. Olatayo Olayemi, Senior Registrar in Paediatrics at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, has emphasised that consuming three litres of water per day can effectively address constipation in children.
Olayemi shared this insight during an interview in Ibadan on Tuesday, highlighting the significant relationship between diet and constipation in children.
He urged parents to boost their children’s daily water intake and incorporate more fruits into their diet to mitigate the risk of constipation.
“Constipation can occur when a baby is being fed with both breast milk and formula, especially from formula.
“This can be increased when the formula is not mixed with the appropriate volume of water, then, the food becomes thicker than it should be,” he explained.
“For children who are older, it occurs when they overfeed and don’t take enough water; this can make them have abdominal pains and bloated tommy,” he added.
Olayemi stressed the importance of seeking medical attention for severe cases of constipation.
Echoing Olayemi’s sentiments, Dr. Joyce Akinseinde, a consultant paediatrician at UCH, emphasised that increasing water, fruit, and vegetable consumption could effectively alleviate constipation. She also advocated for regular physical activity and the establishment of a consistent defecation routine.
“For example, sitting in the toilet for about 10 minutes on waking up and use of laxatives are helpful,” she advised.
Akinseinde outlined various factors contributing to constipation, including inadequate water intake, low dietary fibre, dietary changes during the transition from liquid to solid foods, consumption of processed foods, and ignoring the urge to defecate.