Conditions

Incontinence

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It’s a great day when your child gets the hang of using the potty or going to the toilet on their own, but incontinence affects kids as well as adults, and it’s just as awkward and embarrassing. According to the Nursing Times, 3.5 per cent of boys and 1 per cent of girls aged five suffer from it, and you might be surprised that one of the commonest causes is actually constipation.

This means children involuntarily open their bowels and soil themselves, often without being aware it’s happening, and this can occur several times a day. So what’s the connection with constipation, which we normally think of as meaning kids can’t pass a poo, no matter how they hard they try? The answer lies in the fact when kids are constipated, poo gets stored up in the rectum were it becomes hard and blocks the passageway. But new waste is still being formed, and this leaks out involuntarily in the form of incontinence.

That means that in many cases treating incontinence actually means treating constipation. Your doctor may be able to prescribe a laxative, and help with any other dietary issues that may be contributing to the problem.

Not surprisingly, all this can be very upsetting for you and your child. One of the causes of constipation – and therefore incontinence – is feeling anxious or unhappy about going to the toilet, which in turn causes kids to try and ‘keep it in’, thereby making the problem worse. Be gentle and reassuring and don’t blame kids for something they literally can’t control. Incontinence can bring enough emotional problems of its own.

Though chronic (ie long-term) constipation is the principle cause of incontinence, there are other factors that can cause it, including neurological problems, emotional issues and damage to the anus or sphincter. If you suspect any of these, speak to you doctor or school nurse who’ll be able to provide more specific help.

For more information:

All about incontinence

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My son is 5 yrs old and fully pee trained since age 2 but we r having a constant flow of pooh all day every day. He doesn't seem too bad in the mornings but gets worse through the day. I did get to see a pedatrician but all they did was reccommend regular laxatives if he gets blocked up which doesn't do anything imo. I make him sit on the loo 2 or 3 times a day and he does pooh every time but still soils his pants in between. He doesn't seem to realise he is doing it either as he will ask me to check him. It is so tiring and feel like i am constantly cleaning pooh and washing pants and spraying air freshener. I am at breaking point!. 😭 Beginning to think the doctors don't know what causes it but there seems to be alot of us in the same boat.





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My daughter has suffered with constipation since she was 2 she has had a hospital enema and 2 manual extractions and these havent worked, she has been on 4 sachets of movicol a day and senna on a night after the last hospital stay they put her on klean prep this worked for some time however she has gone backwards and has started soiling herself again, this is now causing bullying at school now which is making the matter worse. I have been and consulted mental health and doctors again but I am worried this will have a longer effect on her and she is nearly ready for secondary school now. She has had this problem for 8 nearly 9 years now.





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My son who is 9yrs old next month holds in his poo's. He hasn't had a poo for about a week now! Surely this can't be good for him? Most of the time, he's holding it in, as he's playing something and doesn't want to stop playing. But it's got into such a habit, that he does it all the time now. Should I be worried? Will this damage him in anyway?





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My 5 year old daughter has been wetting for approx 14 months now and just when we think we've cracked it, it starts again. Has anyone experienced similar problems? We've tried rewards charts where she is rewarded for each dry day she has, but even they don't seem to work. The school Teacher sends her to the toilet every hour, as do we at home but she still manages to be wet some days. She has been dry for up to 6 weeks at a time all by herself but then regresses again. Can anyone help please?





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Hello, we are also now experiencing these symptoms with our 10 year old daughter who is going through puberty ! She is soiling herself all day long and it's really getting me down. I'm throwing all the dirty underwear away! The doc has out her on movical and she has been to the poo but is still doing it and I think she thinks it's a joke I don't know what to do can anyone help ? Thanks





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This makes me feel really bad, as my daughter who is 9 seems to have the same symptoms. She hides her soiled pants or stays in it. I think it's doctors time as her poos can be very long n wide for a small frame.





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i have a 16yr old daughter who has been weeing constantly in the mornings and slowly during the day have had many test and all have come back clear has anyone heared of this and if so can u tell me what it is?





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Hello, I was just wondering if you guys ever figured her situatuion out?

no not yet but they think it might be endometrioses

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my 7 yr old has just gone thru 4 prs of shorts in 3 hrs. hes been going thru the same thing as all the others above. i strongly suspect hes backed up somewhat.,this is the only logical reason. so tmrw im going to feed him 6 to 8 apples onllythe whole day as well as plenty of pure water and maybe freshly juiced vege juice. this shud clear the bowels. but just to be sure im going to take him for 2 to 3 colonic irrigation pe





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My little boy is soon six years of age and from the age of four he has slowly started weeing and pooing himself but was on/off from time to time and never anything major or if it was it was not all the time. He says he doesn't know and apolagises and he is now at the age where it will soon affect him as a person. I have tried everything and i only recently remembered that he had to be treated at birth with medicine for the first 4 month every 3-4 hours to help him urinate and have checks for his bladder as they noticed something wrong during pregnancy ( bladder was always full and never being emptied, was effecting his kidneys or something) I remember them warning me he may be able to hold it in 10x more or the reverse effect of 10x less than the average person, i just forgot all about everything we both went through and now it could have crept back but out of nowhere really and dying to find answers (although waiting for results, can't find no propper answers till his old medical files are digged out) if there is any nformation that could help or reassure me i'd be very grateful, thanks xxx





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my 12 year old daughter wets and pooh's herself during the day she will not use toliet paper and will not wash after having an accident,she can go weeks without washing herself and if i try and make her she screams down the house also he behaviour is really bad along with mood swings we have been to the doctors and hospital and they have said they is nothing medical wrong with her yet after checking with the internet she has all the signs for adhd but the doctors wont test her as they say she dont have it





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This sounds just like my 16 year old son. I don't know who to turn to. A friend thinks he may have a form of aspergers as he hates change, say's he is not normal, has no friends, finds it difficult to talk to anyone, currently will not go out at all. He has mood/ behavior issues. I have only managed to get my son to the doc's twice only for them to say he is a typical teen. He will pooh himself & sit in it for days, won't wash even with prompting etc. Is there help out there???

This actually sounds to me like autism. ASD ( Autism spectrum disorder)presents very differently in girls than in boys. Go to Autism UK and get some information to arm yourself then take her to the GP and ask for her to be tested. Be prepared for a long wait though as it can take months for the appt to come through. My 9yr old daughter was actually being councelled for her incontinence with CAMHS when they diagnosed her with ASD.


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Content supplied by NHS Choices

Urinary incontinence is the unintentional passing of urine. It is a very common problem that is thought to affect about three million people in the UK. Read More »