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House Call: What to Do When a Child Won't Use the Bathroom Away From Home

House Call: What to Do When a Child Won't Use the Bathroom Away From Home

08/22/2012

Source: Parade Magazine



A: There are many reasons why she may not be using the restroom: Concerns about privacy and germs; being irritated by smells, such as the scent of an air freshener in the bathroom; or a fear of getting in trouble or missing out on something fun. Even if your daughter isn’t having accidents during the day, you should still talk to her about why she feels uncomfortable using the restroom at camp, and try to ease her concerns. One thing your question didn’t address is whether she has regular bowel movements at home (since she isn’t doing so during the day). Children who aren’t having regular stools can put themselves at risk for progressive constipation, which may require a doctor’s intervention.

—Dr. Andrew Adesman , Chief of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at the Cohn Children’s Medical Center

Q: My daughter is attending a summer day camp, and she often comes home saying she hasn’t used the bathroom since she left the house in the morning. Should I be worried?

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