Summer is time for the family road trip! Follow Kids Activities Blog and Julie Blair and her family as they travel 8 states in 30 days for the ultimate road trip story ¦
Road Trip Constipation. It’s amazing what you’ll learn on a road trip: Did you know, for example, that most people throughout the world poop standing up or squatting?
Oh, I learned lots of things from Dr. Mary in Taos, New Mexico.
Dr. Mary and I became acquainted during my preschooler’s bout with road trip constipation.
(I feel as though I can share this story with you only because Charlotte would gleefully do so herself–and in very graphic terms–if only she could type.)
Babycakes had not pooped since Amarillo, which if you’re following this blog, you know was at the very beginning of our 30-day road trip.
She was in excruciating pain the time we hit Taos, which is how we found ourselves in Dr. Mary’s very nice emergency clinic.
“Many children have this issue,” she told me. “You are not alone. And it is not serious.”
What to do if your kids have constipation on a road trip:
Here’s what you need to know if someone in your car finds herself in, ahem, a station of constipation.
(My lawyer husband kindly reminds you that I am a journalist, not a doctor, so follow my advice at your own risk.)
Relief comes when both the upper and lower intestine are manipulated, Dr. Mary said. Treating one end of the intestine but not the other will promote a lot of other kinds of tummy troubles like gas and cramping.
She suggested a powdered drink additive like Miralax as well as a Dulcolax which goes in the other end–twice daily.
(There is one type of rectal suppository that is liquid and is injected by what looks like a needle. I don’t know any 4-year-old that will welcome such an instrument of terror never mind your sane discussion of how helpful it will be. The other type looks like a white bullet but is jellylike. I called it “ice cream” because 4-year-olds are not afraid of ice cream. They also understand that ice cream will melt. This news was still not well received, but at least I did not get clawed in the administration process. There was, however, enough screaming for our neighbors at the Marriott to believe I was murdering my child. Consider yourselves warned.)
Dr. Mary also suggested eating restorative foods. Try pears and yoghurt with active cultures. (She added that these two foods alone will regulate children within two weeks.)
There is also something called “Smooth Tea” that she said will work wonders.
When dealing with road trip constipation, avoid at all costs foods that absorb and expand like rice, bananas and dairy, she added.
Abdominal massage around the bellybutton in a counter-clockwise fashion helps break up stools.
(If you are squeamish about any of the above actions, make your husband do them. After all, you moms endured pregnancy and childbirth. I know that my handsome groom would have taken the lead but he had already flown home to Dallas at the time of the incident, the lucky dog.)
Another tip for handling road trip constipation: Have your child sit on the potty with her legs propped up on an overturned hotel ice bucket. The knees should be higher than the bum, which is the most natural pose for pooping, Dr. Mary said.
Did Dr. Mary’s advice work?
And you better believe that we were all quite relieved.