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Paediatricians want Nigerian children to drink 3 litres of water every day

They urged parents to increase their children's daily water and fruit consumption to reduce the risk of constipation

Constipation in children has a strong relation with diet (image used for illustration) [UNICEF]

Olayemi made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Ibadan.

He urged parents to increase their children's daily water and fruit consumption to reduce the risk of constipation.

The doctor said that constipation in children had a strong co-relation with diet.

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"Constipation can occur when a baby is being fed with both breast milk and formula, especially from formula. This can be increased when the formula is not mixed with the appropriate volume of water; then, the food becomes thicker than it should be.

"For children who are older, it occurs when they overfeed and don't take enough water; this can make them have abdominal pains and bloated tommy," he said.

Olayemi also said that a severe constipated case should be handled in a hospital.

Also, a consultant paediatrician at UCH, Dr Joyce Akinseinde, said improved water, fruits and vegetable intake would address constipation. She also recommended regular exercise and development of a routine for defecation.

"For example, sitting in the toilet for about 10 minutes on waking up and use of laxatives are helpful," she said.

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She listed causes of constipation to include too little water intake, lack of fibre in diet, change in diet especially during transition from liquid to solid or cereal in infancy, and eating lots of processed foods.

She mentioned the other causes to include ignoring urge for defecation.

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