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DS refuses to use school toilets

(16 Posts)
CheerfulSoul Wed 09-Jan-13 20:36:23

My 4 year old is refusing to use the toilet at school because he doesn't like the smell. He comes home dancing and holding himself because he's so desperate for a wee. I've suggested he breathe through his mouth but he tells me that he has to keep his mouth closed. Short of putting a can of air freshener in his book bag, does anyone have any suggestions?

Sirzy Wed 09-Jan-13 20:41:08

Do they smell? If so I would start by mentioning that to the school, perhaps they need to do some sort of mid day clean around of them.

Loquace Wed 09-Jan-13 20:42:19

Oh poor little thing.

Have you managed a peek in the loos? Are things slipping below an acceptable standard, or do you think it's just new loos, new smells, all a bit too scary ?

CheerfulSoul Wed 09-Jan-13 20:48:28

I haven't been able to check the state of the toilets - I don't usually have access to the school during the day but I will try to check next Stay n Play session. And I could speak to the teacher and see what she thinks. He's hyper-sensitive to smells though and even refuses to let me put his seat belt on if I'm wearing lip balm!! confused I bet they don't smell that bad but then things like that don't bother me.

ILikeWhisperingToo Wed 09-Jan-13 20:50:35

Could you teach him to put his sleeve cuff over his nose? Maybe put a dab of something he likes the smell of on there (your perfume, bit of aftershave, vicks?)

spanky2 Wed 09-Jan-13 20:51:25

I'm not surprised they usually stink.

Ineedmorepatience Wed 09-Jan-13 20:51:44

Sadly it is very common for children to hate school toilets.

They often do fall below acceptable standards.

I think you should tell the teacher.

My Dd3 recently had a uti, the nurse who saw her at the ooh surgery said it could have been caused by her not drinking and weeing enough.

Keep a close eye on this issue.

laughinglikeadrain Wed 09-Jan-13 20:52:40

maybe he needs to use a different set of loos. We have the stinky ones that all the kids use, and then the ones in the reception that are only used rarely. since the front door is locked all day there is no chance of him slipping away.

I'd have a word with the teacher and ask if there are other toilets to use.

TBH if they are all 4 then they may have a problem with thier aim smile

scurryfunge Wed 09-Jan-13 20:56:17

My DS was like this throughout school and refused to go. He could just about manage a wee when desperate. He hated the the lack of toilet paper, no soap, no paper towels and sometimes there were no doors. I found out he was sneaking out of secondary school at lunch break just to use the supermarket toilets opposite the school. I raised it with both primary and secondary but it just wasn't an issue for them.

Loquace Wed 09-Jan-13 21:05:02

One thing you could try is giving him a blob of vicks in a tissue.

DH and I used it when caring for MIL at certain times in the beginning. Just wiped a little bit right under our noses before "grasping the mettle" as it were.

Maybe the gentle baby vicks would be enough for him to feel it was under control enough to use to loo? He could even just hold the tissue under his nose if he doesn't like it on his skin.

moogalicious Wed 09-Jan-13 21:08:57

I'd check out the loos - school toilets are notoriously vile and the school may need to get them cleaned more often.

We've had poo in the urinal, shitty toilet roll strewn everyway, floods of urine. I wouldn't want to use them!

Goldmandra Wed 09-Jan-13 21:40:46

My DD2 who has Aspergers is hypersensitive to smells and also paranoid about privacy. She wouldn't use the toilets at First School because there were cut-outs in the cubicle doors which the other children could (and did) look through. It caused no end of problems and several UTIs (IMO).

The thing is she is just as worried about the smell of air freshener and cleaning fluids as she is about the smell of wee and poo and I never worked out whether the smell she didn't like was clean or dirty IYSWIM.

I think you need to raise it with the teacher so they at least understand if he wets his pants. Just be prepared for your comments to be disregarded.

If he does start to get very worried about it could you bring him home for lunch until he either has better control and can last all day more comfortably or the problem of the smell is dealt with?

littletomato Wed 09-Jan-13 23:10:46

I also never used the school toilets, but for the reason that we had to raise our hand and ask the teacher, and I was too shy to draw attention to myself. I wonder if this is the case nowadays for some children who won't use the toilets.

fuzzpig Thu 10-Jan-13 15:41:55

Is he ok with other public toilets? Just on the small chance that he is nervous about using toilets when other people are there? It's called paruresis - I have always had it and didn't know there was a name for it until recently. I also have Aspergers and struggled like Gold's DD.

It may well be the smell though especially if he is hypersensitive. I agree about putting something strong on his sleeve. I find some smells especially comforting.

fuzzpig Thu 10-Jan-13 15:46:18

Oh and if the sleeve thing doesn't work, definitely approach the teacher - some people are not as sympathetic to things like hypersensitivity (they may just see it as being fussy) as most, and the last thing you need is for your little boy to get told off for refusing to go/if he has an accident. However if you explain why he is upset hopefully they will be understanding.

peppajay Thu 10-Jan-13 18:50:45

I could have written your post. My son has never gone to the toilet at school he is in reception and we went for the look round he told me he would never go to the toilet at school as they smell. Yes they do smell but not horrendously only like public toilets do. Teacher knows he won't go so I checked the smell out first thing in morning before they had been used and still smelt the same. My sons problem is he goes sitting down but likes to sit right back on toilet so he doesn't go over the top so he has to take his shoes trousers and pants off. He used to go standing up but he once missed his aim and it went on the floor and has never a d refuses to go standing up again. Also it isn't just school toilets he won't use it is any sort of public toilets apart from marks and spencer in our town as they are nice. He has never as yet wet himself and I do worry about him holding it in all day but the teacher says he will go one day when he sees all the other boys going, but my son relishes on being different to everyone else so just coz everyone else goes isn't going to make him go!!

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