Constipation is described as “the subjective complaint of passage of abnormally delayed or infrequent passage of dry, hardened faeces, often accompanied by straining and/or pain.”1 Constipation is common in childhood, is rarely life threatening, and therefore might be expected to have little effect on healthcare provision. The reality is somewhat different, however. Symptoms become chronic in more than a third of patients, causing great discomfort, and many children need medical treatment and nursing care.2‑5 Lack of understanding about the condition, delayed diagnosis, and suboptimal treatment and support contribute to ongoing symptoms and multiple medical consultations.6 Social costs include children missing school, being excluded from peer group activities, and feeling that they cannot tell their friends about their condition. This article summarises the most recent recommendations from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) on the care and management of children and young people with idiopathic constipation
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