If a child is constipated it means that the child is not having a bowel movement (pooping) often or has a hard time pooping because the poop is hard and dry. Normal poop is sort of soft and easy to pass, so it shouldn't be too hard to have a bowel movement.

To manage childhood constipation well, families need to understand it. This means knowing what causes it, how to treat it, and how to prevent it from happening again. The child will likely need to learn new toilet habits. Learning new habits is never easy and it is important to know that it will take a long time. The child might also need to take laxatives and have initial clean out of feces (disimpaction). The resources below will help families learn about constipation and how to help their child.

For Kids

  • ERIC UK – The Children's Bowel and Bladder Charity

    ERIC UK is charity dedicated to the bowel and bladder health of all children and teenagers in the UK. Education, information, and activities for kids and teens is available.

    Various educational videos about wee and poo can be found on this website as well.

    Note: Some of the names and words used on this site follow the UK standards. While the information provided is still useful, please check with your health care team for Canadian terminology.

General Information



Toilet Training

Book List

These resources are available to borrow in the Family Library. You can also check with your local library to see if they are available.

You can download, print, and share this PDF or our Destiny Collection List.


Thank you to our friends from Pediatric Gastroenterology (GI) Clinic at the Alberta Children's Hospital for their contributions.

Current as of: May 31, 2023

This material is designed for information purposes only. It should not be used in place of medical advice, instruction and/or treatment. If you have specific questions, please contact your doctor or appropriate health care professional.
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