Having the ability to control the body’s excretory functions is a rite of passage that children have to go through while becoming independent functioning adults. Thankfully, for most children, it happens naturally during development with a bit of help from their carers in a process commonly known as “potty training”. This process differs between communities and cultures but usually finishes before the age of five, the same age a child normally begins school in most countries.
There is a multitude of childhood conditions that can disrupt this process. Some have to do with the general development of the child. Others can impact the mechanisms needed for having adequate sensation and control. It is however essential that this childhood milestone is reached in a timely fashion. Being incontinent will not only impact the child’s education, social life and self-esteem but can even have a detrimental impact on their general health. In extreme scenarios, it may result in serious illnesses and even require complex surgery.
When things are not going well with continence, it is important that parents know where to go for help. With the abundance of information on the internet, it can be perplexing as to what advice to follow. Al Jalila Children’s offers a free service by which you can input your child’s symptoms and have them reviewed by a trained Paediatric Consultant.
While achieving the goal of becoming socially clean can be very difficult in some circumstances, leaving it till the child grows up runs the risk of the child normalizing being in nappies and never really achieving that goal. More often than not the time to act is NOW.
Consultant Paediatric Surgeon and Paedatric Urologist at Al Jalila Children’s