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Fifteen-minute consultation: Management of constipation in childhood
  1. Sian Copley1,
  2. Maureen Lawson1,
  3. David Anthony King2
  1. 1 Paediatric Gastroenterology, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Manchester, UK
  2. 2 Department of General Paediatrics, Sheffield Children's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sian Copley, Paediatric Gastroenterology, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Manchester, Greater Manchester, UK; sian.copley{at}


Constipation is common in childhood. It is a frequent presentation to primary care and common reason for referral to secondary and tertiary care. In the majority of cases, childhood constipation is idiopathic, with no significant underlying cause, but still presents a significant issue to patients, families and healthcare providers. We consider a case of idiopathic constipation, review the current evidence base for investigations and treatment and suggest practical management strategies.

  • Paediatrics
  • Child Health

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  • Contributors SC and DAK developed the concept for the article and contributed to writing and review. ML added an expert view from a paediatric gastroenterology perspective.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.