Problems with toileting

Although toileting is not strictly a behavioural problem, it can have a huge impact on the family when it’s not going according to plan and sometimes behavioural strategies can help. The best source of information is the charity ERIC who have a helpline and leaflets on everything from constipation to bedwetting and more. 

How common is it to still be wetting when you start school?

Lots of parents worry about this when their children are about to start school but typically in any class of thirty children aged 4 years, around 4-5 children will still be having daytime accidents and teachers are used to coping with this in the first few years of school. At the age of 9, there will still be around 1 in 20 children having daytime accidents. Late development of bladder control can often run in families, and it may be that simple reassurance is all that’s needed. It can also be triggered or made worse by bladder infections or constipation or even diabetes so if your child starts having accidents having been dry previously, or is unwell, speak to your GP.

How can I help my child with constipation and soiling?

Severe constipation can lead to “overflow diarrhoea” or soiling. Children often need gentle laxative treatments for several months to resolve constipation which has been going on for a long time, as it will take time for the bowel to recover. There is good evidence that the laxatives we use in children are safe even when taken for many months. Children who are constipated may writhe and scream or try to “hold on” to their poo as it is painful to pass. Occasionally they may appear to have diarrhoea as some watery stool builds up behind the blockage and seeps out. These two links have practical advice on diet, when to see your GP and other things you can do to help.