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Daughter age 9 still wets/soils her knickers and is going to a residential trip in June

(103 Posts)
bengal38 Wed 27-Feb-13 20:50:26

My daughter is 9 years old and since she was 4 years old has been wetting and soiling her knickers. Have taken her to the Drs recently (and in the past a few times) and there is no problem.

She says she can't be bothered to go toilet. When she has friend round/goes to a friend she will go toilet for a wee but not for a poo which results in the soiled underwear.

She is going away in June for a 2 night trip to a residential trip and I am worried she will be wetting/soiling her underwear. I have spoken to her about this and she tells me not to worry. Can't mention to the teachers either as it is really embarrassing.

Anyone have any ideas please?

cory Wed 27-Feb-13 21:13:05

Was the doctor who saw you a specialist or just a GP?

bengal38 Wed 27-Feb-13 21:13:16

Yes I have sat her down and had a proper chat with her. I have told her that her friends will tease/make fun of her when they find out she wets/soils her knickers and that she will be very embarrassed as well. She just tells me that they wont make fun of her.

CSIJanner Wed 27-Feb-13 21:16:08

Our paediatrician really has helped. LO has been diagnosed with toilet phobia, there has been reward charts, toys for so many stars etc. You do have to keep changing the rewards to keep their interest however they do gear the rewards etc towards age ranges. If you give the Eric helpline a ring, they are fantastic and it really does help to talk to someone who knows.


DH complains that LO is lazy going to the toilet but if there is something exciting of if LO is really into something, then of course there's no trip to the toilet. I've resorted to giving a warning that there is only one pair of clean pants and then home, but that a non-accident day might give you a trip to the cinema, horse riding, ski slope etc. Of course, the specialist has explained that it's not laziness - at some point, LO got v bad constipation which has led to a fear of hurt associated with the toilet. The worst thing to ask is "could you try for a poo?" as it results in meltdown. Wetting themselves goes hand in hand with constipation, as the child tends to hold the poo back and which means that the colon can get malformed, meaning they only get a 20sec warning at best that theres a poo en route. Can you get your daughter referred to a paediatrician? Seriously - they really do help.

Smartiepants79 Wed 27-Feb-13 21:17:49

Have you tried things like rewards? What have you tried?
If you truly believe it is down to laziness (unusual in a child of her age I would think, but where not experts!) then maybe it is time for a bit of tough love?
Will she sit on the loo if you ask her?
Can you go back to potty training basics? Sitting on the toilet every half an hour etc..

Dominodonkey Wed 27-Feb-13 21:20:15

bengal If your daughter seriously thinks that other children won't make fun of someone who stinks of poo and wee then she really does need professional help of some kind as she is in complete denial. Please pursue this.

Goldmandra Wed 27-Feb-13 21:22:40


I think your GP may be doing your DD a disservice.

You should seriously consider going back and asking for a referral to a paediatrician for further investigation.

I think there is a strong possibility that there is a reason behind this incontinence that you are and she possibly is unaware of.

I know it is embarrassing but you can't keep putting your head in the sand.

You need to communicate with her teachers about this too in good time before the trip.

secretofcrickleyhall Wed 27-Feb-13 21:26:59

The problem with saying that her friends will tease and make fun of her is that it misses the point. Either she can help it, or she can't - either way, there's a reason.

It is really difficult and I do sympathise but I would urge you to try to not make her feel bad about it - you don't shame someone out of incontinence as a rule.

someoftheabove Wed 27-Feb-13 21:27:50

One of the children I worked with had severe constipation (didn't poo for up to six weeks at a time) due to a close family bereavement. We got him referred to CAMHS for the emotional side and to a "soiling clinic" at our local hospital for the physical side. We worried he wouldn't manage on the residential but the teachers were all on board and everything was managed brilliantly, even trips up a mountain! Please tell the teachers. Don't think how embarrassing it will be for them to know, think about how embarrassing it will be for your dd if they don't know. This really is more common than you think.

Floralnomad Wed 27-Feb-13 21:28:25

You definitely need to tell the teachers before the trip . We took some children to a cub camp and discovered that one of the girls (10) had incontinence issues and we then had to ring the parent to bring up another sleeping bag etc it was all very embarrassing for everybody concerned . If we'd known it could have been handled much better . Tbh ,whatever the cause I'd be getting it investigated .

DIYapprentice Wed 27-Feb-13 21:29:37

CSIJanner - thank you for the Eric website link! DS1 has suffered from constipation for many years, was under paediatric care, used to be on movicol etc. It's now a lot better, but still not fully under control. Having a quick look at the website I have a few new ideas that I can try!!! smile

BalloonSlayer Wed 27-Feb-13 21:34:03

Where we live the school nurse used to be the person to talk to about continence issues; since then stuff like this has been taken over by a specialist continence nurse. There is help out there - you need to seek it out for the sake of her DD.

And you MUST tell the school. You don't want to be the parent they talk about incredulously on their return "OMG, DD's name wet and soiled, she clearly does it all the time but the parents told us nothing!"

Presumably she wears PJ pants at night? The centre will be able to provide a bin for her to put them in which is easy for her to access - probably in her room. If you send her with a load of clean pants, wipes and plastic bags she will be able to clean herself up discreetly as and when. Again, a sensitive teacher will be able to take a sniff in her vicinity from time to time and tip her the wink that it's time for a wipe and change.

HecateWhoopass Wed 27-Feb-13 21:35:23

What tests have been done?

Because the doctor surely will not have just dismissed this? They will have sent her for tests, right? And if not - why not? If she hasn't been referred, go back and demand it.

Your daughter may be denying there will be a problem because she is embarrassed.

You need to go to the doctors and refuse to leave until they take this problem seriously and she has every test known to man and a thorough assessment.

And you need to tell the school.

And you need to consider the possibility that it may not be in her best interests to go on this trip. If she has an accident, she WILL be tormented about it for the rest of her school days! You may have to protect her from that possibility. There will be other trips.

(That last one will be unpopular, but I have a 13 yr old with autism who soils and no way on earth would I ever allow him to suffer such a humiliation.)

MajaBiene Wed 27-Feb-13 21:38:30

Yes bengal, I see you went to the GP and got no answer but you need to pursue this - get a referral, see a specialist, investigate psychological causes.

No 9 year old chooses to poo in their knickers at school due to laziness.

YABU in not pursuing with your doctor and letting your poor child continue with this problem
And you either have a truly awful doctor, or the whole thing is bullshit.

ooer Wed 27-Feb-13 21:47:40

DS2 aged 11 still has wetting and soiling "accidents" but only at home or at Grandma's (OMG how annoying is that - never at school or on days out or on trips to his friend's house, grrr!)

Nonetheless, when he went on a school residential we did warn the teachers and gave him pull-ups for night time, also spare pants and trousers, and asked if they could help him deal with it discreetly. I would not have felt happy not warning them. You can do it in writing (in fact I think that's better because it puts it in black and white what you want the teacher to do, and you can make sure you mention everything that's relevant). If they think they can't cope then they will tell you.

My DS went to the incontinence nurse years ago, but I think improvement was only gradual. His excuse is he is too interested in what he is doing/ can't be bothered going to the toilet so holds it in until it is too late.We can't quite get to "perfect" yet and we are going back to the doctor next week.

PedlarsSpanner Wed 27-Feb-13 21:50:27

GP is failing your DD, and you are too, by accepting a diagnosis of laziness (WTF?)

PedlarsSpanner Wed 27-Feb-13 21:53:09

ooer I would urge you to ask for a ref to a speciaist, ask for a scan to establish how far backed up he is, get a script for movicol and get DS on the train back to health.

IncrediblePhatTheInnkeepersCat Wed 27-Feb-13 21:53:44

You really must talk to the teachers. I run guide camps and have dealt with 10/11yr old girls with incontinence issues.

One girl's mum didn't inform us about any issues in advance, which meant that we were unprepared for the soiled sleeping bag, lack of clean underwear, faeces over the tent canvas due to her position within it etc. Cue having to find spare bedding in the middle of the night in a pitch black field amongst other things.

We always say at the parents meetings that we can deal with any additional need fully as long as we know in advance, otherwise we just have to do our best. FWIW on subsequent trips with this child, we had strategies put in place to minimise discomfort/accidents such as reminding her to go to the toilet frequently, making sure she could get changed in the tent on her own so the other girls didn't see her incontinence pad etc. As a side note, the other children were brilliant with her and didn't make fun in the slightest.

Please, please, please talk to the staff involved.

foreverondiet Wed 27-Feb-13 21:53:53

I bought Ds1 a vibrating watch from the Eric website. He is almost 7. It really helps - teachers know he is supposed to go when it vibrates. Buy her the watch, work out how often to set it and discuss with teachers that she will be told to go at the set times.

nkf Wed 27-Feb-13 21:55:57

I would imagine that everyone at school knows already.

Guineapigfriend Wed 27-Feb-13 21:56:01

This is not typical behaviour for a 9 year old. The GP should be referring onto a paediatrician in the first instance.

bengal38 Wed 27-Feb-13 21:56:27

How should I word it with the teachers? Should I just come out with "xxxx still wets/soils her knickers". If they tell me it isn't advisable she goes what should I say or do?

nkf Wed 27-Feb-13 22:00:43

Just like that. And ask what they need to make the trip possible/manageable. And yes, I do agree with people who say you should be back at the doctors.

fallon8 Wed 27-Feb-13 22:08:27

It's very simple..either she sorts herself out,or she doesn't go on the trip..think you will find the "problem" will resolve itself very quickly..why should the other children and staff have their trip spoiled ?

ooer Wed 27-Feb-13 22:21:20

Thanks Pedlars - the thing is he "sits up" every morning and does a nice big poo no problem (TMI sorry!) and he eats loads of fruit ... he went to the incontinence clinic before and he got movicol. We will be going again I suspect!

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