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Your child could become constipated (unable to have a bowel movement) if he does not drink enough fluids, does not eat enough fiber, or does not get enough exercise. Certain kinds of chemotherapy and other medicines also can cause constipation.

To help correct constipation, try these ideas:

  • Give your child a warm drink, such as hot cocoa or hot apple juice, around the time he usually has a bowel movement.
  • Increase the amount of fiber in your child’s diet by including fresh fruits and vegetables, dried fruits, and whole grain cereals and breads. Add bran to casseroles, cookies, and breads before baking. Stir wheat germ into yogurt or hot cereal.
  • Have your child drink more fluids, especially fruit juices.
  • Increase movement by playing or just walking.

Call the treatment team if none of these changes help. The doctor might order something to prevent constipation. Do not use over-the-counter remedies like suppositories without talking to the doctor first.


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

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