Constipation means that bowel movements are hard and dry, difficult or painful to pass and less frequent than usual. It is a common problem for children, but it is usually temporary and no cause for parents to be concerned.
When a child does not eat enough fiber, drink enough liquids or get enough exercise, constipation is more likely to occur. It also happens when children ignore the urge to have a bowel movement, which they often do out of embarrassment to use a public bathroom, fear or lack of confidence in the absence of a parent or unwillingness to take a break from play. Sometimes constipation is caused by medicines or a disease.