PH101 Potty Issues with Kiddos

PottyFiona McMahon PT, DPT

Did you know kids can suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction too? Pelvic floor dysfunction in children can result in pain, bladder holding or constipation, embarrassing soiling accidents, frequent nighttime accidents, as well as trouble going potty. For most kids, there is an underlying physical component that needs to be addressed by an expert pediatric pelvic floor physical therapist.

It is very upsetting for a parent, guardian or caregiver to see a child suffer with pain or embarrassment, but there is so much that can be done to help out children with these issues. We use positive charts to develop short term and achievable goals to reinforce  behaviors and steps towards healthy toileting. Simple techniques like using the improving toilet posture, practicing deep breathing with bubbles, using a timer to assist in times voiding, educating the parent/guardian/caregiver on the colon massage, developing a core stability and stretching program, and more can go a long way towards improving bowel and bladder symptoms.

If your child is suffering from urinary or fecal accidents, bed wetting, skidmarks, or painful defecation, join me on May 11th, at 7pm , to discuss pelvic floor dysfunction in children, common conditions affecting pottying, and practical tips you can use to make potty time easier.

This is our last Pelvic Health 101 class of the spring series. We want to thank for an awesome season! Keep your eyes on the blog for the Fall’s PH101 classes!


Pediatric Pelvic Floor Therapy at BBPT

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.