Fecal incontinence is a very common and treatable condition in children. If your little one is struggling to go to the bathroom, our team at Children’s HealthSM is here to help. With some of the best pediatric gastroenterologists in the country, we can pinpoint the cause of your child’s condition and help them regain good bowel control.
Pediatric fecal incontinence is when a child who is toilet-trained (usually older than 4) can’t control when and where they poop. This means they accidentally poop before they can reach the toilet.
Fecal incontinence is also known as bowel incontinence, soiling or encopresis.
It can be very embarrassing for children and is usually caused by chronic constipation or a medical condition that impacts the colon.
To help diagnose fecal incontinence, we’ll first discuss your child’s symptoms and medical history. From there, we may perform several tests. The following tests can be used to determine the cause of fecal incontinence and to rule out other gastrointestinal conditions:
Pediatric fecal incontinence is often caused by chronic constipation that’s brought on by:
Fecal incontinence can also be related to medical conditions like:
Treatment for fecal incontinence depends on the cause and is tailored to your child’s age and personality. Some children may only require changes to their diet whereas others may require medications. The main goal is to make it easier to pass stool on a regular basis. In many cases, a combination of treatments and techniques are used to manage fecal incontinence. Possible treatments and techniques include:
We will work closely with you to develop the best approach to ease embarrassing symptoms and help your child develop good bowel control.
Our pediatric gastroenterologists have special training and comprehensive experience in treating children with fecal incontinence. We are here to develop effective treatment plans, prevent future potty accidents and help your child get back to thriving.
Good sources of fiber, like whole-grain cereals (oatmeal), fruits and vegetables can help reduce constipation and cause regular bowel movements.
You should call your child’s doctor if your child has: