Incontinence is common among preschoolers. It's usually the result of kids waiting until the last minute to go to a bathroom. Urinary incontinence, or daytime wetting, is more common than fecal incontinence, or soiling. Bladder or bowel incontinence is rarer among elementary and secondary students.
Causes of incontinence include:
constipation, which can result in urinary or fecal incontinence
problems with nerves from the lower spinal cord that control bowel and bladder function
be at risk for teasing or bullying due to their condition
What Teachers Can Do
Incontinence can affect your student's self-esteem, social well-being, and even academic performance. Incontinence can be embarrassing to anyone, especially if it happens in the classroom. Students' abilities to wait until appropriate bathroom breaks can depend on a variety of things. For students with special needs, for example, it may be hard to communicate their need to use a bathroom.
Make sure your students with incontinence know they can go to the bathroom whenever they need to, without asking permission. Adding regularly scheduled, frequent breaks alsocan help reduce accidents.
While most students with incontinence will outgrow it, others may continue to have problems. Be patient, understanding, and reassuring, and avoid drawing attention to your student.