Wednesday, October 8th, 2014
When it comes to potty training, sometimes earlier isn’t always better, new research shows.
According to a small new study published in Research and Reports on Urology, researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center looked at 112 children ages 3 to 10 who experienced daytime wetting or urinary urgency/frequency and found that “early trainers” (kids who learned to use the toilet before they were 2 years old) were nearly four times as likely to have daytime wetting issues.
“Parents who train their children early to meet preschool deadlines, to save landfills from diapers or because they think toddlers are easier to train should know there can be serious repercussions,” study author Dr. Steve Hodges, an associate professor of pediatric urology at Wake Forest Baptist, said in a news release.
Because younger kids are more likely to hold their pee in, they’re more likely to also be affected by bladder contractions and reduced bladder capacity, the researchers stated.
Researchers also noted that early trainers were three times more likely to have constipation issues and that constipation can actually cause these bladder mishaps at times.
Of course, this isn’t to say that no 2-year-old (or younger) child should begin potty training. Dr. Hodges noted that a very important factor to consider before you begin potty training is that your child is not showing any signs of constipation.
“There is nothing magic about the age of two,” Dr. Hodges said in the statement. “If parents opt to train early or late and are meticulous about making sure children void on a regular schedule and monitor them for signs of constipation, I suspect the incidence of voiding dysfunction would decrease.”
Do you think your child is ready to start potty training? Take our quiz to find out when the time is right for you and your tot.
Photo of potty training baby courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Friday, June 21st, 2013
The lids or top-seats of toilets are the culprits in a type of potty training injury that has been growing slowly but steadily among boys over the past decade, new research has found. More from Reuters:
Researchers found the number of emergency room visits for toilet-related injuries to the penis, while still rare, increased by about 100 visits each year between 2002 and 2010.
Usually, the injuries happen when boys are learning how to urinate into the toilet while standing up and the seat falls unexpectedly – although a few adults did get snagged by the seat, too.
“It’s a toddler basically potty training who doesn’t have the most advanced motor skills and they just don’t have the reflexes to move fast enough,” said Dr. Benjamin Breyer, the study’s lead author from the University of California, San Francisco.
Previously, the researchers found that about 16,000 men and women are sent to U.S. emergency rooms (ERs) with genital injuries every year.
Breyer’s team was “pretty surprised” to learn that one in 30 genitourinary injuries showing up to the ER involved toilets….
….About 68 percent were so-called crush injuries, which is when the penis gets trapped between the seat and the bowl. Of those, about 97 percent were in children seven years old and younger. Only five adults were caught by falling lids.
Image: Toilet seat, via Shutterstock
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Thursday, June 13th, 2013
Constipation and the pain associated with it is the number one specific diagnosis children receive when they visit the emergency room, according to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics. The New York Times has more on the reasons, which are often related to potty training, for the frequent diagnoses:
[The study] looked at almost 10,000 visits to the emergency room at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh by children 1 to 18 years old with abdominal pain. Constipation was the most common specific diagnosis, the cause of the pain in more than a quarter of the childrenwho had any diagnosis made. “Parents are shocked that that’s their child’s diagnosis,” said Dr. Kerry S. Caperell, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Louisville School of Medicine and lead author of the study.
The highest rate of constipation, he said, was found in boys around 10. “My experience is the kids don’t like to go to the bathroom at school, so there’s a sort of voluntary retention that exacerbates itself.”
Constipation is often attributed to deficiencies in our modern diet — not enough fiber, not enough fruits and vegetables — or to the same combination of overprocessed foods and sedentary lifestyle that puts children (and adults) at risk for obesity. So there is often something judgmental in the air when the subject is raised. And mind you, it isn’t always raised. It is not, shall we say, a sexy topic.
Children often run into problems with constipation around the age of potty training, when toddlers find themselves in a test of wills with their parents. Jessica Hankinson, a pediatric psychologist at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, said: “We definitely see around potty training what can be considered withholding behavior. They start doing the potty dance, crossing their legs, bending down.” Anything, in other words, to keep from cooperating with the parental agenda.
Sometimes those patterns persist. Some children may be physiologically predisposed. Pediatric gastroenterologists and specialty clinics see children with refractory constipation who haven’t gotten better with the treatments suggested by their regular doctors.
“Maybe the problem has been underrecognized and undertreated,” said Dr. Maria Oliva-Hemker, the chief of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and founder of a constipation clinic there.
And the longer children struggle with the problem, the more severe it can get, for reasons both behavioral and physiological.
“We call it defecation anxiety,” Dr. Hankinson said. “You have hard, difficult stools to pass, you have a painful bowel movement, you start withholding.” That, in turn, affects the functioning of the colon.
In extreme cases, children can develop what is called encopresis, when liquid stool leaks out around the hard, impacted stuff clogging up the colon. Parents may be worried about diarrhea, or angry about “accidents,” when the real problem is constipation.
Image: Emergency room, via Shutterstock
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Wednesday, November 7th, 2012
A mother in Piedmont, Oklahoma was fined $2,500 when her 3-year-old son attempted to urinate in their own front yard on Sunday. While the ticket has since been thrown out, the case has garnered national attention.
According to the boy’s mother, Ashley Warden, her son was playing outside on the family’s two-and-a-half acre lawn when he unzipped to take a bathroom break. A police officer spotted the toddler and stopped him before he could pee. Despite the events happening on their own property, the officer wrote Warden a steep ticket because her son was in public view.
Warden told News 9, “I am disappointed that the officer thinks [...] what he needs to do with my tax dollars is sitting and harassing our family.” The Wardens filed a complaint with the local police department and had planned on fighting the citation since their son didn’t complete the act, but the ticket has already been thrown out.
Piedmont’s police chief, Alex Oblein, went to the family’s home to apologize and later commented that the officer should have used better judgment before issuing the ticket. Even Piedmont’s mayor, Valerie Thomerson, weighed in on the officer’s actions: “I have been vilified for saying this, but stupid is as stupid does, and this was just stupid.”
Image: Police Car Lights via Shutterstock
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