Almost 5 Year Old Having Daily Poop Accidents

Updated on November 08, 2009
B.T. asks from Ashland, MA
6 answers

My son has been potty trained for years now. Now he is havng daily accidents. He said it hurt when he went on the potty. That is no longer an issue. We took care of it so that should not be a problem any more. Now it seems he is just beng lazy. A friend had this problem and saw several Dr.'s and they said not to disipline just ignore it?. I am not sure what to do. I change him, then minutes later he poops again when the toilet is less than a foot away from him? I even let him do all the changing, wiping, getting the new underwear. Thinking that it is a lot of work so he would eventually stop going in his pants? But no luck, it is daily and several times a day. Please help.

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answers from Cleveland on

Amy has hit it right on the nose. My neice and my son have both been through this exact same issue. Miralax works wonders. Eventually we got our son off of the miralax by putting him on a childrens multivitamin (it's called Might-a-mins and has to be ordered on the internet or purchased through a distributor from a company called Market America)with probiotics in it that seems to have the same effect for him, the probiotics seem to his special vitamins every morning he does fine, but if we run out and he doesn't have any for a few days the same issue seems to come back. Good luck!



answers from Boston on

Hi Betsey

I had 2 boys with this issue and learned that it is a medical condition called encapresis. When young kids repeatedly hold their poop because it hurts to go it causes the bowel to become distended or over stretched. As a result they lose their ability to control their bowels adequately and sometimes cant even tell if they've had an accident. The treatment is to clean the bowel out with laxatives daily and to keep it empty to give the muscle time to regain its proper stretch. Miralax is the common laxative that's used and works like a charm. However, you should check in with your pediatrician. Sometimes they like to use other bowel treatments first and the Miralax as maintenance. Also, sometimes they may feel the need for an xray. This is a really difficult and emotionally charged ordeal for the whole family. It's really important that your child knows and understands that it's not his fault and that you and the pediatrician will try to help him with this problem. Good luck this is a tough one but it definitely is fixable. Also, I should add it can take about 6 months or more to treat!



answers from Springfield on

There is a condition (Blanking on the name!) where the nerves are affected in the rectum if a child has been seriously constipated. It makes it so the child literally can't feel the urge to poop until the poop is in their pants.

If you haven't all ready, I'd take it to his pediatrician, because it needs treatment.



answers from Boston on

If he is in school doing this the kids will make fun of him. My almost 4 year old has been a wicked nightmare and the kids in his preschool class, especially the girls were on him about it. I did try a reward system and gave him two weeks to be poopy free and I bought him a bucket of legos and it worked. Something might be bothering him and he is old enough to talk about it. Talk to him and express your concerns that you don't want others to make fun and that you will work with him because he isn't a baby and he needs to poop on the potty.



answers from Boston on

B., My daughter did the SAME thing. My husband and I would get so annoyed, she said it hurt ect.... I then later found out she had been constipated and it did hurt for her to go, and somehow was easier going in her pants when it just finally came out. The dr told us that if a child has an experience where it hurts when they go on the toilet than they are afraid to do it again. Its not that he does not know, or that he is being fresh or anything. It just may hurt to go on the toilet. My daughter is 6 now, and never ever has accidents however pooping is still an issue, she will hold it and then go but complain that her but hurts ect.. Her pedi has put her on mirilax, and that has helped a lot. I would rec talking to your dr about this, b/c it is very common. I have talked to so many people with the same thing and they all have their children on mirilax. It softens the poop, my pedi said it is very mild and safe, as I worried about causing lazy bowel later in life, she told me not at all, that constipation in children can cause lazy bowel. So I know its hard, but please talk to him, and see if this is the problem. My husband and I felt so bad once we found out the poor little one was actually in discomfort. Good luck!



answers from Boston on

I had this problem with my daughter. After a million different attempts to fix it I finally bought something big that she really wanted (An American Girl Doll), then I put it on a shelf where she could see it but couldn't touch it. She had to poop in the potty with no stained underware for 7 days. If she stained or had an accident we started again at day one. It took two months and she finally did it. Then the rule became "if you stain Molly goes back on the shelf for 7 days free of accidents." Molly had to go back on the shelf only one time and my daughter has been accident free ever since.

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