Constipation in children

Date Published: 
Wednesday, September 2, 2020

In this podcast, Dr Rebecca Hayman reviews the optimal management of childhood constipation. She discusses pathophysiology, the important clues that can be gained from a comprehensive history and thorough examination, and finally the management including dis-impaction, and why long term maintenance treatment is so important.



  • How common is this condition in the general child aged population?
  • What’s the pathophysiology / aetiology - why do children get constipated?
  • What clues are we looking for in the history to make the diagnosis?
  • Examining our patient is important- what are we looking for?
  • Do we need to order any investigations when considering childhood constipation?
  • Red flags.
  • How do we manage childhood constipation / impaction?
  • Why an action plan is important.


Take home messages

  • It’s a chronic condition.
  • Treatment needs both medication and behavioural.
  • Ask lots of embarrassing questions about poo.





Dr Rebecca Hayman
Specialist Paediatrician

Rebecca works at Kidz First in South Auckland.  She grew up in the Bay of Plenty and attended Medical School in Dunedin. After graduating she moved to Melbourne and worked at the Royal Children’s Hospital before moving back to New Zealand to complete her training. She has a special interest in paediatric emergency medicine and injury prevention.

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This presentation is intended for qualified health practitioners professional development and should not be relied upon for any other purpose. Any opinions offered are those of the presenter or other speaker and do not necessarily represent the views of Goodfellow Unit.