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5 year old terrified of going for a poo

Hi there. Since starting school my 5 year old has been slightly constipated then after a painful bowel movement at School in October her bottom was bleeding due to a fissure. I upped the fruit/veg/fibre and drinks but she was scared to go for a poo. The gp prescribed lactulose in October but the poo was only every 3 days and her bottom still bled from the reopening fissure. She was then given senekot 5ml at night to use with the 10ml lactulose twice a day and but this didn’t make much difference. On return to the doctor before Christmas we are now on 15ml lactulose twice a day, 15ml senekot at night and awaiting cream to aid the fissure. Has anyone had problems with fissures and how can you solve it!! The jabbing pin feeling when she goes is the problem as the fissure keeps opening and it bleeds. Should we ditch the lactulose and try movicol? It’s the screaming, tears and upset when the poo is coming that’s getting to us!! The relief once she has a poo is immense!! Any advice folks.

9 Replies

Hello, poor little thing, how horrid for her, and you. I have had personal experience of a fissure...not nice. My daughter has been on every type of laxative for her constipation and best results were with a combination of senokot and movicol. But movicol can be a challenge to get children to drink.

Would she eat prunes? My daughter likes the semi dried ones which are still soft and sweet. And water is the best help I find but again a challenge to get children to drink sometimes. Try melon, cucumber, cooked carrots, baked sweet potatoes, tinned peaches and jelly. She may need quite a lot of laxative as if children want to withhold their poo (understandably if it hurts) then will do their best.

Lots of warm baths with Epsom salts and perhaps some lavender oil.

Another thought, could you fill a large washing up type bowl with warm water and let her poo in the warm water? Not very practical but may help relax her bottom and help soothe the pain of the poo coming out?

Best wishes to you and hope she heals up soon x


Thanks..managed a poo two days in a row...it’s the little things!!! Patience and perseverance is the key I think. X


On this, one of my Nephews, when he was about four used to get VERY constipated indeed. The poor, dear boy, would scream, shout and cry as he strained to GO. We found that putting him a bath, with all his 'paraphernalia'- soft sponge, toys, bubbles and so forth and letting him relax helped a lot. After a time, and an inevitable 'Wee' we suggested that he TRY to 'Poo'. To begin with he was reluctant, thinking that he might 'get into trouble', but, assured all was well, he started to TRY. Yes he Screamed, Splashed, Cried, went BRIGHT Red -Very difficult to watch- but finally, a pretty HUGE turd slowly emerged. We ALL 'felt', for this poor lovely child, and watching him FINALLY, get relief was a true joy. Not one, but two, more larger 'Poos' came out quickly afterwards, clearly he had Much More, in his poor bowels. It might have been, very 'Messy' but it was Worth It, without doubt.

My sister, tells us, that he has managed to, 'Poo' in the bath, several times since. Strangely she, and her Husband, had never thought of 'Bath Poos' before- surely 'everyone' tries THAT, don't they? Well we ALL did.

Anyway definitely, 'worth a try'.



All that luella suggests should help. I do remember one of my sons having a fissure many years ago when he was about 7. The doctor prescribed pessaries which helped heal it. They were adult size and I had to cut them in half lengthwise before inserting. I don't know if they would still prescribe this but they certainly helped although it was over twenty years ago. How about some Vaseline before she poos ? Good luck xx


Thanks for that, we are already using Vaseline before a bowel movement and I’m hoping we now have dosage correct to get routine in place before we are back to school on Monday!! Fingers crossed!! X


Bless you both . Will be thinking of you xx


Hello, I am having exactly the same problems with my 5 year old. We are going to the Dr this week as it is horrible to see her so upset. She bleeds when she poos. How have things been over the last few weeks? Have you found anything that has worked best, medicinal or otherwise? X


Hi there. It’s horrible isn’t it!! We seem to have got the dosage right now 15ml lactulose at breakfast time (she also has fruit, fruit juice and either toast or cereal) School lunch, snack and two drinks after school, tea with two or three vegetables and at bedtime she has hot chocolate with 3 teaspoons senekot (to get the pushing action) a fruity oatcake and another 15 ml lactulose. She won’t go for a poo unless we take her so if there is no sign of her needing after 2 days we make her sit for at least half an hour (sometimes longer) Still blood when I wipe her bottom but it is slowly getting less. The doctor didn’t seem to think any creams would help but Vaseline seems to slide the poo out easier? If she waits more than 3 days the tear is worse so the key is to get the bowel movement more frequent. I am hoping to get her to sit every day for a poo but finding the time is difficult when you have other kids, elderly parents and a business to run!! Let me know if you get any solution for the bleeding. Good luck. Xx


Thank you. Yes we have just started to use Vaseline and it really seems to help the poo come out. We seem stuck in a vicious circle at the moment of it hurting so she holds it so after 3 days it hurts when she eventually gives in and goes and round we go again! I know what you mean about getting her to sit every day. That is how we started trying to manage it back at the beginning but we just felt like that was all we ever talked about and all we did was focus on poos. I do think when we started to worry less and talk about it less it started to improve but I am finding that hard to do this time because she is going so infrequent and each time is so traumatic! Glad to hear you feel like things are improving. Good luck to. Xx


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