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expecting my DD's playschool to wipe her bum if she needs help?

(27 Posts)
Thruaglassdarkly Tue 14-Jun-11 02:17:01

I met my DD from playschool today. She immediately announced she had something in her pants and was clearly distressed. What?, I asked. A pooh, she answered. So I took her back into her playschool and said I needed to change her. That was fine. I then told the leader that she was only just toilet training and although she could wipe her own wee, she needed help with her pooh. The (wonderful, I might add) playschool leader said that by law they were allowed to help a child wipe its bum once out of nappy ONLY IF the child asked. Otherwise it was an "intrusion into their own privacy". Excuse me, but my baby's bum was almost blood red raw from being improperly wiped. She screamed as I wiped her down. What the eff government ruling says that professionals that I trust and who are CRB checked cannot help my 3 year old with her own arse??? She did not know to "ask". She did not know that there were magic words to say that would help her get her bum wiped and that failure to say the right thing would result in her bum NOT being wiped and it becoming sore. FFS! I was offended for the professionals I trust, day in, day out with my DD. What an affront to their professionalism. FFS!

LolaRennt Tue 14-Jun-11 02:30:45

I have no comment really.

but I feel I must say it is poo not pooh, I don't give a fig for spelling in general and am actually rubbish... but you really should not use the name of a beloved story book character to refer to something that came out of a bum.

peanutbutterkid Tue 14-Jun-11 03:52:48

Oh bother, this was covered before, and most people argued that the moment your toddler is toilet trained they should be able to wipe their own bums (competently enough). And that you were a deeply negligent parent otherwise. Unless your child had SN (and possible undiagnosed SN is no excuse). Posters were extremely adament about it; saying that all preschoolers should have all the basic same self-care skills as any reception starter. And you were a deeply negligent parent if they didn't (etc.)

And yes I did think I had stepped into an episode of the Twilight Zone when I read all that.

Sorry, just to warn you that you won't get much sympathy. I'm lucky that DS goes to preschool in mornings but empties bowels in afternoon.

DontCallMePeanut Tue 14-Jun-11 04:11:47

<giggles at peanut>

Sorry. Serious face now...

I don't have much experience of playschools.The last time I went to one, I was 3. But anyway. Back to the post in question. If the playschool are taking care of your DD, then surely that means a responsible level of care? As far as I'm aware, although he tries, DS cannot competently wipe his own backside. Not without making a bigger mess, anyway. I'd assume the same would be said for most, but not all, 3 year olds. Surely a better approach would be for leader to ask DC if they needed any help? That seems like common sense to me...

spiderslegs Tue 14-Jun-11 04:22:58


<Takes charge of children from pre-school with shit steaked legs> .



They won't wipe their arses???

<Realises am a deeply negilgent parent, fuck, they'll be smoking crack behind the trike shed next>


spiderslegs Tue 14-Jun-11 04:30:08

Really though, unless my children have been doing preternaturally clean poos for the last year or so, I am assuming their nursery wipes their arses....

'THE LAW' has never been invoked.

You must talk some sense to these people.

If you don't, I will.......

Parietal Tue 14-Jun-11 06:14:01

My DD is 3 and at nursery. Potty trained but needs a bit of help / reminding on things like washing hands and wiping properly. Staff will always ask - do you need help? Can I wipe that? Did you dry your hands?

To wipe a child without asking at all would not be very nice, but staff can and should be asking children what help they need, so they can provide the help.

sparkle12mar08 Tue 14-Jun-11 07:55:14

Parietal has it - ds2's pre school will ask if they need help, and willingly provide it, but if the child says no then they won't. And at three most children are wiping their own bottoms, surely? You are right to be offended for the staff at your preschool, the regulations they have to work within are ridiculously restrictive, but perhaps you could suggest that they have a new policy of asking if the children need help? Tbh I'm rather surprised they don't...

inmysparetime Tue 14-Jun-11 07:59:50

I would always help children with wiping bottoms as under about 3 they often don't have long enough arms to reach round anyway. That's just mean, refusing to wipe, surely it's more degrading for a child to know they smell of poo and need sudocrem all the time!

Shannaratiger Tue 14-Jun-11 08:02:23

If you're unhappy about it discuss it with a member or the chairperson of your playschool commitee, they maybe have the power to change playschool policy on these matters not the staff. I speak as a member of our playschool commitee.

PerryCombover Tue 14-Jun-11 08:10:15

In the words of Oliver James
"all women who leave children in day care are evil" <paraphrasing> therefore you get what you deserve

RitaMorgan Tue 14-Jun-11 08:10:41

I doubt there is any law about this. Maybe it is the playschool's policy though?

Working in a nursery with 3 year olds I would always ask them if they needed help.

DirtyMartini Tue 14-Jun-11 08:16:36

I worry about this too. DS is nearly 4, but only just getting to the point where he feels OK about pooing in the toilet without being watched like a hawk until touching cloth and then marched coaxed to the loo.

Wiping himself clean without mess will take a while to get the hang of. He tries, but it's not pretty.

At nursery he never poos except in his pants so the wiping thing has not come up yet, but they do encourage them to go to the toilet on their own and it is quite possible that nobody would realize he was doing a poo in the first place and he'd go around with poo-smeared nethers all day sad

Thank God we live in Scotland so he has another year before he needs to start school!

Meglet Tue 14-Jun-11 08:17:34


I was chatting to a member of staff at the dc's nursery about this a few months ago. They do help the children with bottom wiping if they need to. A lot of pre-schools don't seem to help and start going on about how they aren't allowed to help, child protection etc, nursery said that's nonsense as pre-school staff are all crb checked and responsible for the children.

I am so glad mine are at nursery and not pre-school. They have helped my ds with potty training and bottom wiping but he's almost at school and he is now quite capable of doing it on his own. No poo-y pants incidents either.

halcyondays Tue 14-Jun-11 08:20:39

I very much doubt there is such a law. There are guidelines about providing personal care , but I don't think there are any laws about not wiping children unless they ask. If there were all nurseries and childminders would have to leave babies and toddlers in dirty nappies all day and wouldn't be able to help children who are in the middle of toilet training and need help, but who won't necessarily ask for it. They should be offering help if it's needed, rather than leaving children dirty and sore. If a parent didn't clean their child and left them sore, it would be seen as neglect. I know they need to be aware of child protection, but there needs to be a bit of common sense here.

lesley33 Tue 14-Jun-11 08:59:58

There isn't a law. Either this is the pre school's policy in which case you need to speak to the manager or management committee. Or an over eager OFSTED inspector has told them they must do this. In which case you need to either contact OFSTED yourself or encourage them to challenge this.

IME some OFSTED inspectors make it up as they go along insisting somewhere follows a certain way of doing things, when it is actually nothing more than their personal opinion.

bamboobutton Tue 14-Jun-11 09:13:08

i worry about this too. ds is 3.5 and has toddler diarrhoea so it is very messy. he refuses to to go on the potty and insists on pull ups when he needs a poo, he knows how to wipe as he copies me and dh but it is far too messy for him to manage alone.

he's due to start nursery in sept and i'm getting myself worked about the toilet situation already, i can't even get him to pull his own trousers up so he runs around the house with his trousers around his ankles giggling madly while i chase him to pull them upgrin

i hope his nursery doesn't have a problem doing bottoms, we're due to go in soon to meet the teachers so can ask then.

libelulle Tue 14-Jun-11 19:00:56

It isn't an affront to their professionalism because there is no such law. I think someone is either being crazily overzealous or it's just convenient for them to rationalise not providing adequate care by invoking mythical laws. My dd is 3 and no way can she wipe her bottom clean properly. Nursery does it for her, it's never been an issue and nor should it be.

dreamworldfullofUNICORNS Tue 14-Jun-11 19:15:29

I work in the pre-school room at a Nursery. We have all the children at least TRY to wipe their own bums, we encourage, we coach, we give direction. Then we check - and do it ourselves if needed. NEVER would we knowingly leave a child with a dirty bottom.

hugeleyoutnumbered Tue 14-Jun-11 19:16:38

ffs OP you are not BUthe preschool are, complain they are idiots manipulating the law to their own ends

Flisspaps Tue 14-Jun-11 19:16:54

As a CM no-one's ever told me this, and I'd never expect a child to ask me to wipe their bum before I offered to do it.

piratecat Tue 14-Jun-11 19:19:24

wether a kid can wipe or not, the policy that they will only help the child if the child asks is ridiculous.

peanutbutterkid Tue 14-Jun-11 19:38:00

MN is so schizophrenic. Actually it's not as one-sided as I remembered, thankfully.

Thruaglassdarkly Wed 15-Jun-11 21:06:31

Thanks for the replies Ladies and for clearing a few things up there (pardon the pun) wink
My daughter has been pooing her pants every day lately and is getting quite upset when I clean her up because her bottom is so sore now (she tells me right away too, so it's not like she's sitting around in it when she's with me, which is most of the time anyway). I think it's just a phase - she was toilet trained around March-April time and can wipe when she wees, but the whole pooing in the toilet is newish and she can't get clean herself. It was successful for a few weeks but is now an issue again. I've been encouraging her to ask for help with the wiping at her playschool since I wrote the OP on Monday, but it's not cropped up as an issue again yet. (Interestingly, her key worker there was sent for on several occasions by her son's school to come and wipe his bottom, as they refused to do it - he was in Reception) If the issue does arise, I WILL kick off. DD's leaving in a few weeks though as she starts pre-school. Hopefully by the time September comes, she'll have regained her confidence again and it won't be an issue.
It's generally a lovely, caring playgroup, so am a bit surprised this has come up. They go the extra mile for the kids and are generally fantastic, so it's not laziness on their part, more a sllightly misguided philosophical stance, I suspect. Or it could be a new thing or a local council thing? It's a bit bloody stupid in my opinion, for sure.

Thruaglassdarkly Wed 15-Jun-11 21:18:50

Particularly thanks to the words of Perrycombovver who proferred this helpful little post, which I'm sure she meant ironically and is not seriously judging women who work in paid employment and use daycares.

<<In the words of Oliver James
"all women who leave children in day care are evil" <paraphrasing> therefore you get what you deserve>>

I had to laugh as I'm a stay-at-home mum (ex-teacher, so yes, a career job relinquished 7 years ago to do that, and quite happily too) and it's not "daycare" - it's a little playgroup that DD goes to some mornings while we've been having a lot of building work done to our house, on account that it keeps her away from the builders and (this week) decorators for a few hours and frees me up to sort out the million and one things this project has generated.

Not that it matters either way, because every child "deserves" a clean arse.

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