The nurse is caring for a 7-year-old child with constipation. The child’s mother asks the nurse what she can do to help prevent another episode. What information would the nurse include in her response?
“Provide lots of milk and sugary foods to promote defecation.”
“Have the child sit on the toilet for 5 to 10 minutes about 20 to 30 minutes after meals to encourage defecation.”
Number 4 is correct.
Having the child sit on the toilet for 5 to 10 minutes about 20 to 30 minutes after meals can encourage defecation. Enemas should only be given if instructed to do so by the health care provider. The nurse cannot prescribe enemas, as this constitutes practicing medicine without a license. The nurse should also not instruct the parent to give laxatives on a daily, regular schedule. Enemas and laxatives can exacerbate certain gastrointestinal conditions. Milk and sugar intake should be decreased, not increased.