The Problem with School Bathrooms

The Problem with School Bathrooms

Problems with school bathrooms can start as early as preschool. There are many daycare/preschool programs that have peculiar bathroom set ups. They will have 3 little toilets in one room with no dividers or privacy for the child. It’s very common for kids as young as preschool to start holding their bowel movements because of an interaction with a child sitting on the toilet right next to them. Often times my patients will tell me that their school bathroom is too gross, kids look at them, or if they take too long someone will say something. This causes them to hold their pee and poop for inappropriate amounts of time during the school day. It’s not uncommon for my patients to report peeing 0-1 time while at school. Holding for long periods of time throughout the day can negatively effect the bladder. This can cause bladder overactivity or in the case of holding poops, bladder overactivity and decreased functional bladder capacity.

Make sure you speak with your child about their bowel and bladder habits at school. If they are purposefully avoiding the bathroom encourage them to use it appropriately, talk with their teacher or request that they use the nurse’s bathroom.

You can ask your primary provider to send a letter to the school requesting your child has full access to the bathroom, is sent to void every 2 hours and/or is allowed to use the nurse’s bathroom.

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