Constipation & Your Kid: Get the Facts

From the Show: Healthy Children
Summary: Are you worried that your child may have constipation? Learn what to look out for.
Air Date: 5/14/14
Duration: 10
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Wendy Sue Swanson, MD
Wendy Sue Swanson headshot high resDr. Wendy Sue Swanson is a board certified pediatrician, mother to two young boys and the author of the Seattle Children’s Hospital Seattle Mama Doc Blog, the first pediatrician-authored blog for a major children's hospital.

Dr. Swanson is interested in the intersection of media and medicine and its impact on the physician-patient relationship. Her online presence through her blog and Twitter has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of parents who would have been beyond her reach without social media. Dr. Swanson works diligently to offer parents relevant, practical, and timely health information in accessible formats and she believes that a growing community of online physicians can empower parents and patients to make informed decisions based on science. Tackling issues from vaccines to potty training to work life balance, Dr. Swanson provides a voice of reason, not only as a pediatrician but also as a parent, helping parents gain clarity and eliminate fear when making decisions for their children. Her book, Mama Doc Medicine, published by The American Academy of Pediatrics, hit bookshelves in early 2014.

Dr. Swanson is the founder and executive director of Digital Health at Seattle Children’s. She is also an executive committee member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Communications and Media. She is also on the Board of Advisors for Parents magazine and is on the board for the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media. She is a weekly medical contributor with NBC affiliate KING 5 News in Seattle and is a practicing pediatrician with The Everett Clinic. Dr. Swanson is an advocate on the topic of vaccines and was named a CDC Childhood Immunization Champion in 2012. She was named to TIME Magazine's Best Twitter Feeds of 2013.

You can find Dr. Swanson on Facebook ( and on Twitter (@SeattleMamaDoc) nearly every day.
Constipation & Your Kid: Get the Facts
If your child doesn't have daily bowel movements, you may worry that he or she is constipated.

Constipation occurs for a variety of reasons. Bowel patterns vary in children just as they do in adults. Because of this, it is sometimes difficult to tell if your child is truly constipated.

One child may go two or three days without a bowel movement and still not be constipated, while another might have relatively frequent bowel movements but have difficulty passing the stool.

Or, a child's constipation may go unnoticed if he passes a small stool each day, while a buildup of stool develops in his colon. In general, it is best to watch for the signals if you suspect constipation.

Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson (aka: "Mama Doc") joins Melanie Cole to discuss the real facts about constipation, as well as offer treatment options and solutions.
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