Mineral Oil for Constipation in Toddlers


Mineral oil is a petroleum-based liquid used as an ingredient in some medications and diaper rash creams. According to a 2001 article released in the journal “Paedriatrics & Child Health,” mineral oil is likewise considered a reliable treatment for constipation. Used improperly or for too long, nevertheless, mineral oil can have damaging health effects. Do not offer a toddler any quantity of mineral oil until you’ve consulted his pediatrician.

How Mineral Oil Works

Mineral oil comes from the category of laxatives known as lubricants. Lube laxatives work to relieve bowel movements by producing an oily coating on the surface area of hard, dry stool. The coating softens the stool by holding in water and allows it to be removed from the body easily. Mineral oil can be provided orally or rectally prior to bedtime, with no food, and plan to normally lead to a defecation 6 to 8 hours later.

Expert Recommendations

The National Institutes of Health cautions that mineral oil is not safe to give to toddlers or to any child under the age of 6 unless it is performed under a doctor’s guidance. Pure mineral oil ought to not be offered orally to any child under 12 years old. Rectal enemas of mineral oil suspensions, which include an emulsion of mineral oil with another liquid compound, ought to not be used on any children under 2 years old.

Mineral Oil for Constipation in Toddlers
Mineral Oil for Constipation in Toddlers

Possible Side Effects

Mineral oil might cause vomiting, diarrhea and queasiness. In addition, the body may end up being unable to absorb adequate amounts of particular nutrients, such as vitamins A, D, E and K. A toddler who experiences rectal bleeding, severe abdominal pain or consistent vomiting or who cannot have a defecation after taking mineral oil needs to be seen by a doctor instantly.

Other Alternatives

For a toddler, changes in diet may be more secure than mineral oil as a treatment for constipation. She should drink a lot of water and clear liquids such as fruit or vegetable juice each day and eat high-fiber foods at every meal. Toddlers require approximately 14 grams of fiber daily. A 1/2-cup serving of prepared beans includes as much as 9.6 grams of fiber, while 1/3 cup of 100 percent bran cereal has 9.1 grams. Fruits with the peel intact, fresh veggies and entire grains are other fiber-rich options. Limitation her intake of meat, cheese and processed foods, all which may contribute to constipation.


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