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My son is 4 and still soiling himself

(7 Posts)
jade1978 Wed 08-Oct-08 16:43:28


I don't know what to do about my four year old son. He still doesn't seem to have full bowel control and over the last week has had two accidents at school. I don't know what to do to help apart from making him go to the toilet and try more often, but then I am also frightened of making a big deal of it and making him to scared to go!!! Its getting quite embarrasing at school, should I ask them to keep reminding him to go? It can't be nice for the teachers having to change him/clean him up, and although my son doesn't seem phased by it, it can't be very nice. Anyone been in similar situation?

hecAteTheirBrains Wed 08-Oct-08 16:50:28

yes. I am. My sons are 8 & 9 and still soil themselves. ds1 more so than ds2 - quite often find a huge poo in his pants! They both have autism though, and bowel problems are linked to autism by some.

We find that lactalose helps, but feel a bit funny about using it long term, as we worry about making his bowel lazy.

Make sure he has a well-balanced diet - not too much wholemeal btw! I used to think they had to have wholegrain everything to be healthy, but it's not good for children according to their paed!

In fact, when having bowel trouble, we now remove as much fibre as possible from his diet, as bulking him up makes it worse. Then re-introduce fibre when things are flowing, so to speak!

There's nothing wrong with getting the teacher to remind him - as long as it's done sensitively and not bellowed across the classroom! grin

But you are right to not make a big deal out of it, it would make him feel awful.

juuule Wed 08-Oct-08 17:29:47

Yes, we have.
Our dd had encopresis caused by chronic constipation. I was shocked at the diagnosis as I thought it was more the opposite.
It has taken several years of Movicol and diet to get to a stage where things are mostly okay although she still has relapses. Initially she needed quite large doses of Movicol to shift the blockage higher up in her bowel (which caused her bowel to stretch) and then moved on to a maintenance dose.
I would get him seen by your gp if only to rule this out.

susia Wed 08-Oct-08 21:35:32

My son (5) hasn't got the problem of soiling himself but he is scared of going to the toilet. He will hold it in for around a week so after about day 3 I give him Movicol and I give him Lactulose every day. If I don't give him these he will hold it in for a week and then be in alot of pain when he does go. This has been going on for over a year.

Tryharder Wed 08-Oct-08 23:16:08

I have been through this with DS1

Does your son genuinely not have control over his bowels or does he just "forget" to go to the toilet until it's too late? Some children also have a fear of using the toilet - like they are going to fall down the toilet if they sit on it - probably more common in boys as they are more used to standing up to wee.

I spoke to the HV and she was very, very helpful so you might want to consider that. Get your son checked out for constipation which can lead to the bowel being desensitized so children GENUINELY lose the sensation of wanting to poo as opposed to being too idle/occupied with playing which was my son's main problem! Constipated children often still poo regularly as some of the poo does get through.

My son is using the toilet now most of the time so there is light at the end of the tunnel, honestly. I think this is quite a common problem particularly among boys but one that probably doesnt get discussed amongst mums very often due to the stigma.

andiem Wed 08-Oct-08 23:22:51

I think this may be constipation as well take him to the gp to be checked out and don't be fobbed off by them your hv may be able to help if not then ERIC have good resources

littlestrawberry Thu 09-Oct-08 00:21:11

I had this with DS1 until he was 4. Thankfully he didn't go to school until nearly 5 but he still has bowel issues now (he's 6 next week) When he was at playgroup he was only there for 3 hours so used to hold it in. Unfortunately he used to hold it in by doing this rocking motion back and forth whilst on all fours, very disconcerting.

With DS1 he never really go started doing poo's on the loo, when he was potty trained he just continued to poo in his pants. I think he really couldn't understand the process of needing a poo and how to push it out on the loo so when we used to sit him on the loo he would say he didn't need to go and just do it in his pants when we weren't looking.

Eventually he managed to poo on the toilet when he was about 4 as I say and then it just seemed to click. Although he still holds it in far too long and leaves it incredibly late to get to the loo so sometimes has little accidents.
He does a poo about once every 3-4 days.

Very different to DS2 who got it straight away and goes every day without fail.

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