By Riva Preil
Many children face challenges during the toilet training years. Some children have difficulty with controlling urine flow during the day, and other children have difficulty remaining dry through the night (commonly referred to as bedwetters). Both of these can affect the child’s emotional, psychological, and social well-being. They might be embarrassed if their parents have to intervene or if their peers become aware (ex. unintentionally leaking urine while playing during recess).
Very often, diet (including food and fluid intake) can strongly affect a child’s ability to “hold it in.” For example, many of the popular sport drinks contain dyes which irritate the bladder. This may result in involuntary bladder (also known as the detrusor muscle) contractions which contribute to unintentional voiding. In addition, some children may also have bowel issues (ex. constipation) which create stress and confusion in their pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor therapy is an appropriate avenue to address the aforementioned symptoms. Pediatric pelvic floor therapists like those at BBPT appropriately educate both child and parent regarding how to properly contract and relax the pelvic floor muscles, and they also help incorporate diet and lifestyle changes to promote improved continence and passing of bowel movements.