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4 year old having a lot of wetting and soiling accidents

(6 Posts)
lebanna Sat 04-Jul-09 00:48:09

My dd is 4, nearly 5. She was not having problems with the toilet but recently she has been having a lot of problems with both wetting and soiling. She is having about 4 or 5 accidents a day for the last week or so. It is very soft and sort of sticky. I am not sure if she knows she is going to go. She seems very upset about it.

Recently she had a similar problem, I took her to the dr about it and the dr examined her and said she did not find a problem but to keep a record and return in 2 weeks. However immediately after that she seemed to get better from the soiling, although she was still wetting a lot. I didn't go back to the Dr after that as I had been most concerned about the soiling problem thinking it might be an infection. I have been keeping a record for the last week since she started up again and I am planning to go back to the dr next week.

She has been having a lot of problems at school. Another child was being very rough and hurting her every day. She was getting very upset over this. I have talked to her teacher and this seems to have improved, but she is still getting upset about incidents that happen at school. She is upset that her best friend was not playing with her today. Her teacher suggested she might be worried about moving up to year 1 and being in a different class also. I am not sure if this is related to the problems she is having with the toileting but it seems possible. I don't want to rule out a physical cause tho.

She seems more tempremental than usual and gets upset over any little thing. She is quite tired but also having some trouble getting to sleep. She seems to suffer in the heat.

Some people in my family seem to have a lot of food intolerances. I am just starting a food diary to see if I can see any link between what she is eating and her problems with toileting. She is not a very healthy eater and is quite picky. I am afraid I quite often let her have junk food and sweets.

dd has always been quite thin and underweight. I think she may have lost some weight recently as she is looking thinner. I guess related to all the pooing!

I know I am going to the dr next week but I would like any advice anyone can give as I am feeling very worried. It is getting quite hard work cleaning up and trying to be calm and nice about it.

chickatee Sat 04-Jul-09 01:35:02

My youngest ds was like this (more soiling than wetting though) from around the same age. We eventually figured out that in ds's case it was caused by anxiety. It began originally as anxiety about starting school and later developed into something that happens whenever he feels stressed. This wasn't immediately obvious though - it took us quite a while to see what the problem was. He is 5.5 now and still has soiling incidents occasionally.

We were tearing our hair out for a while trying to figure out how to get him to stop. The most effective thing so far has been to give him lots of affection rather than getting cross when it happens (which can be difficult as he can seem to be doing it deliberately sometimes). We promised ds he would get a hug every time it happened (instead of getting told off or having toys confiscated, which is what we had resorted to out of desperation) and it virtually stopped over-night grin.

It's interesting that you say your dd gets upset over any little thing. Ds can be like that too - highly strung, I would call it. I do think that it is also an indication of stress.

I think from your post that your dd's situation sounds very similar to ds, so definitely getting the school issues sorted would be a priority I think. Also I would try and boost her self esteem at home with lots of positive reinforcement of how great she is, and try to ignore any bad behaviour for a while.
I know how horribly frustrating it is when you are cleaning up after accidents all the time so best of luck with it.

lebanna Tue 07-Jul-09 21:54:03

Thank you for your reply. dd seems a bit better over the weekend but now she is starting to have a few problems again. I had to wait till tomorrow for the dr. I think you may be right that it is down to anxiety. dh wonders if that can really cause the very soft poo 5 times a day or is it down to diet. I will talk to the dr tomorrow anyway. Thanks again for your reply.

shouldbeironing Tue 07-Jul-09 22:11:06

It may well be anxiety but dont rule out the possibility of a physical cause and bear in mind that some GPs are rubbish at diagnosing this one (mine was and my poor DD suffered for months).

Constipation can be a real problem at this age most especially in hot weather when they might not be getting enough liquids.

Surprisingly, constipation can cause wetting esp at night as causes pressure on the bowel. Also surprisingly it can cause a lot of very runny poo as what happens is there is a blockage and other stuff sort of gets pushed out around it. But there will generally be more solid poo when the blockage is pushed out - if it is not pushed out it will get worse and worse and need medication.

If it is constipation it is very upsetting for the child who has absolutely no control over it as there is a temporary loss of nerve sensation.

Anyway - may not be this but do bear it in mind. Hope you get it sorted.

Millarkie Tue 07-Jul-09 22:11:45

Lots of soft poos can be caused by constipation - I know it sounds mad but if constipation stretches the bowel then soft poo can get past the block and 'falls out' as an accident. It can also cause wetting accidents too. My dd saw 3 different GPs over a year who all said her accidents were caused by stress/naughtiness. I eventually took her to a private gastroenterologish who took an x-ray and it was very clear that she had a stretched bowel full of poo. If it keeps happening I would take her back to the GP and keep looking for a physical reason.

Kazzi79 Tue 07-Jul-09 22:20:14

Awwwww bless I had similar with my 4 yr old a few months ago after personal trauma in our family. Thankfully I had a good doctor who did tests as it went on for quite a while but after all tests coming back clear we were able to put it down to anxiety which has been dealt with.

The fact its only happened recently along with the traumas at school does sound as though it could be due to anxiety but don't rule out other causes, see a different doctor if necessary, good luck hope it gets sorted xx

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