(HealthDay News) -- Children may become constipated from a practice experts call "stool withholding" -- deliberately not going to the bathroom because of embarrassment, fear of an unpleasant experience, or the desire not to interrupt playtime.

The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse says parents should be aware of these warning signs that a child may be constipated:

  • Having infrequent bowel movements.
  • Displaying posture indicating the child is holding in a stool, including squeezing the buttocks or rocking back and forth.
  • Complaining of pain or cramping in the belly.
  • Having difficulty passing stools.
  • Passing stools that are large, dry or hard.
  • Finding stool in your child's underwear.