This guideline covers diagnosing and managing constipation in children and young people up to 18. It provides strategies to support the early identification and timely, effective treatment of constipation which will help improve outcomes for patients. It does not cover constipation caused by a specific condition.
In July 2017, we updated recommendation 1.1.4 to link to the newest NICE guideline on coeliac disease.
This guideline includes recommendations on:
- history-taking and physical examination
- digital rectal examination
- clinical investigations and management
- diet and lifestyle
- psychological interventions
- antegrade colonic enema procedure
- information and support
Who is it for?
- Healthcare professionals
- Children and young people aged up to 18, their families and carers
Is this guideline up to date?
June 2018: We have found no new evidence that affects the recommendations. For more information, see the surveillance decision.
Guideline development process
This guideline was previously called constipation in children and young people: diagnosis and management of idiopathic childhood constipation in primary and secondary care.
The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.
All problems (adverse events) related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.
Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.
Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.