Constipation represents a diagnostic category of high prevalence both in children and adults, but with low disability and hospitalization rates. This review is written to be a relatively practical guide to physicians providing information for the evaluation and management of one of the most common chronic digestive disorders. In this article we emphasize the differences between constipation in children and adults. The approach to childhood constipation needs to focus on the behavioral nature of this disorder. Diagnostic techniques often used in constipated adults may not provide useful data when applied to children. Treatment of childhood constipation requires a team effort involving the physician, parents and child.