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Dr Betty Wamola from Townsville Paediatrics says it’s common for children to be constipated. The signs include difficulty passing stools, passing very hard or large stools, abdominal pain, withholding behaviours such as crossing legs, crying or hiding and sometimes overflow incontinence.

There are lots of things you can do. First, encourage a healthy diet with lots of fruit and vegetables and natural fibre such as cereals. Establish a regular toilet routine, sitting on the toilet for three to five minutes three times a day. ‘Bowel training’ requires motivation and encouragement. In addition, use a star chart system of rewards to encourage your child.