Secondary school accidents?: I'm a little bit worried... - ERIC

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Secondary school accidents?

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I'm a little bit worried about my daughter, she is 12 and in the last couple of weeks she has had two accidents at school. The first one I believe was down to a bad tummy and the teacher denying her second request to go! Luckily for her it happened in the last 10 minutes of the lesson and so she was able to get away with it as others thought someone else had trumped. Then the second time was yesterday at the start of her lunch break she was just walking out of class when she started to soil and wet herself, luckily no one was around to see it happen as she was able to make a bolt for the school door (she comes home at lunch time). She tells me that yesterday she knew she really needed the toilet but was trying to wait until her lesson was over and had to see the teacher as she had homework questions.

She seems healthy in both bowel and bladder, but is there anything that we should be keeping an eye on?

I've never heard of children having accidents in secondary school, primary yes (kind of the norm) but I'm really worried for her that it will happen again and she will get found out.

Has anyone else experienced school accidents at secondary school age with their child? Did you say anything to the school?

10 Replies

Hi, what a worry for you!

I don’t really have any personal experience of this but I am a year 6 teacher (just younger than your daughter). I’d take her to the doctor but I would also talk to the school. Issues with getting to the toilet are more common than you might think. My experience has been that schools deal with this very sensitively. When I worked in a school with KS3, all staff were informed of medical problems via email, And children were given ‘toilet cards’ - if they wanted - so that they can be excused from class quickly and without fuss. I know which children in my class need to go quickly and they just tell me they’re going and go. I would never confront one of these children or ask them to wait!

Medically, I can’t help but I would encourage you to talk to the school. The last thing your daughter wants is to be anxious in class about having an accident!

I hope this doesn’t happen again and you get this sorted!! X

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Yes my son is at secondary.he did not like using toilets at school and was scared to ask to go to the toilet that he stopped himself going which has then caused to have the problems with bowel and bladder.he has a discreet toilet card he can show the teachers.all teachers were emailed to tell them to let him go.several had said no and had caused him to have an accident!!i was not happy.he is on meds to help.might be worth taking to Drs to check not constipated or got uti x


Oh bless her heart, we know only too well what that's like, my daughter has had many accidents at school, fortunately for her she is in a part of the school due to her needs that nobody really takes any notice as they are all aware of her condition, she often has to change but I get the school phone me to let me know, sometimes we have had to go and get her as its all got a bit too much for her as it upsets her.

I would definately let the school know as then they will be able to deal with it appropriately by letting her have a toilet card, my daughter started off with one of them until her condition got worse but at least they will be aware, it saves all the embarrassment for her when she's desparate to go and hopefully avoiding accidents.

My daughters leaking is worse when she due for her period for some reason, so we make sure she has plenty of tena pads and changes of knickers, it's not ideal but we have to make sure we are one step ahead, it may be worth speaking to the doctor just in case if any underlying issues with her bladder or bowel, hope she gets on alright, it's worrying for us parents as I always feel terrible for her if she has had an accident, good luck xx


Hi, I’m 16 and I still have them from giggle incontinence - do you know if it’s that?

I take imipramine (prescribed by my gp, and with so few side effects it’s often prescribed to small children) which makes the relevant muscles down there stronger, so I can work on strengthening them when on the pills, then come off them when they’re strong enough (therefore no accidents) - but that would probably only be if this is recurring for a while (like a few months) and showing no sign of stopping.

If your daughter trusts the school nurses (if they have them I don’t know!) it’s a good idea to tell them so she can go and change her pants and everything there without worrying about being in trouble for missing lessons etc.

The other issue is if this continues, whether to tell your gp (assuming you live in England - sorry if you don’t) as I had a gp for many many years that refused to see the problem and prescribe anything, but again it depends where you live etc.

Please be super supportive and assure her it’s not her fault! It’s very easy to become anxious as you worry about the smell or a wet patch and that anxiety can stay much much longer than the accidents do! From personal experience I’d say that how you deal with this as parents is the most important thing (e.g not saying over and over how important it is not to get found out by others - again anxiety, and approaching the problem with care rather than fear).

A lot of girls have incontinence even in secondary school - so really don’t worry, and when I told my good friends they were completely fine - much to my surprise - and just wanted to know if they could help. Advisable to tell trustworthy friends though!

Please trust your daughter to know what’s best for her! Super important! Also of course keep in mind her mental health will be changing a lot in the next few years so try to stay on her side?

Best of luck - Theo

Update: I just read an article saying that 3 percent of 15 to 16-year-olds experience regular daytime wetting which is quite a lot - I don’t know how trustworthy it is but a gp also told me something similar!


My daughter could do with speaking to someone much like yourself, she is 14 this year, I have been on here for almost a year I think 🤔 She us suffering from a lot of anxiety and probably depression as well, she is ASD as well bless her, she has had dysfunctional voiding since she was 8 years old, she has been through many different kinds of investigations and a couple of operations but she regularly leaks at school, home and out and about, she finds it all too much some days, she is under CAMHS but it's her state of mind, I worry about her so much and we are incredibly supportive of her needs, I just wish there was a magic wand to take away her pain, anxiety, I feel helpless some days but it's very reassuring knowing there are other young women going through very similar to herself, I wish it was the giggling causing it all, I would love to see her laugh and just enjoy life but it's hard for her at the moment, is there any other groups for young teens, she is a very shy girl and often gets judged by other so called friends, I feel she needs other like minded or young girls going through similar to herself, I'm in awe of you, you are so very inspiring xxx


She and I sound quite similar - and it can be so so lonely being in secondary school without others to lean on when things aren’t great. Unfortunately there really isn’t anything online for young people like us which is such a shame - especially as it means there are no steps being taken to spread awareness!

I hope she knows that girls are usually at their peak nastiness at about 14 and from there it gets a bit calmer - and I certainly found that!


All the best -Theo


Wow!! Thank you so much for sharing that Theo. My daughter has stress and giggle incontinece, she's at secondary school and yes it's a nightmare. It was wonderful to read your post, you sound like a very together young woman, you should be very proud of yourself, not an easy thing to live with.we go back to the Evalina soon and I will ask about that medication as I've never heard of or been offered that. Thank you so much xxxxx


Ah thank you!! You’re very kind! It’d be great if my experience with giggle incontinence could help someone!

Luckily there was a gp covering for my usual one that had helped children with giggle incontinence before so that’s how she knew about imipramine, but I don’t think it’s very widely known as helping (giggle) incontinence unfortunately!

All the best to you and your daughter -Theo


I have accidents in secondary school all the time because I hate the toilets


I am 16 and this was my whole secondary school life. Unfortunately it still is now but my mum spoke to the school as embrassing as it was. They were supportive at the start of my time there and then in year 11 they weren’t so good


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