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Journal of Community Nursing (JCN) | December 2020

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Early recognition and proactive management of constipation in children and young people

Early recognition and proactive management of constipation in children and young people
Continence care

Article topics: Constipation, Continence, Continence management

Functional constipation is a significant problem in childhood, not only due to its prevalence, but also the impact that it has on quality of life for the affected child and their families. However, the symptoms are often unrecognised by both parents and healthcare professionals, perpetuating the problem. Furthermore, the farreaching
consequences of constipation are too frequently underestimated, so they continue to increase with associated implications for NHS resources. Prompt recognition and intervention with appropriate laxative therapy, alongside adjustment to diet, fluids and toileting, if required, will prevent the condition becoming chronic.
Chronic constipation requires longer and more proactive treatment and support. Healthcare professionals need to raise awareness of this condition to facilitate prevention as well as early, appropriate intervention.

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