Posted by: do we have a big problem? | 2003/12/14


6 year old defecate in pants at times

my six year old has these "accidents' maybe once or twice a week. Seem to wait till last moment or scared to go to the toilet? always states it is an accident. Normal healthy child otherwise. Not sure how to handle problem.

Expert's Reply



These little accidents are fairly common in young children, especially if they are constipated. It is important to have it evaluated and if there is any evidence of underlying contipation it needs to be addressed.

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user comments


Posted by: another mother | 2003/12/21


My son (6) has the same problem. It started at an early age, and I took him to a few doctors/specialists, even a psycologist. He was also diagnosed as being constipated. It was explained to me that the "accidents" happen when a "plug" forms inside the colon and then the build-up behind it starts leaking. In my son's case, the "accidents" keep on happening, til the "plug" comes out.

So, what our aim is, is to try and adjust his diet, to prevent constipation. I know this is not easy, children do not want to follow a specific diet! We try to limit his intake of sweets (sugar), bread, meusli, dairy products, skins of fruit/veggies, seeds and proccessed foods as well as "gassy" food. In the beginning I really tried to avoid everything, but soon reallised this would be a we just control his intake when we find that he is more constipated than normal. When I find that he did not go to the toilet for two days, I also give him a light laxative in the evening and then get him to go and sit on the toilet the next morning. I usually give him books to read on the toilet and we reward him if something happened.

I discuss the problem very nicely and openly with him, and by now he knows that it is a physical problem, and that it's not his fault. I even draw a picture to explain to him what happens!We handle every accident calmly and, like I mentioned, reward him when he gets out the "plug". I must admit, I am a bit worried about his first school year and how the kids around him will react to the problem, therefor I discuss this openly with him and told him that when he reallised that he had a accident he must take care of it before his classmates realised what happened. I wil send a little "emergency" bag in his suitcase with him to school, filled with extra undies, some wet wipes and a plastic bag.

I don't know if this is of any help, but remember, they really feel ashamed, so firstly, explain to him/her what is happening to him/her and assure them of your assistance that you will "tackle" the problem together.
The doctors assured me that most kids will outgrow this problem.

Good luck, I know it is not a easy thing to handle!

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