What age do schools stop helping incontinent children? - ERIC

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What age do schools stop helping incontinent children?

My daughter is just finishing year one (7 in October) and school are amazing! She is changed every 90 minutes. She comes home with bags of wet clothes each day as even tena lady extra and cycling shorts don’t seem to hold her wee!

I just wondered when school will have to stop helping her? She can’t wipe her bum ( they’ve even tried mirrors behind her and in front but her poo is like superglue and gets everywhere and even I can’t get it off quite often! It needs washing off.

Plus she has no feeling if she’s wet or pooey so if they stop helping her will literally be sat in wee and poo and sore. I’m wondering what age they stop?

She has no additional needs and in fact is very bright! She’s reading above all the others etc and has no behaviour problems etc so would never get a one to one member of staff.

Just wondering what the future holds!! What age do they stop helping? I can’t see her being able to attend secondary school for example. Wondering if they’ll change her in key stage two even? She is changed literally every 90 minutes.

11 Replies

90 mins is just when she’s changed. Her wee intervals can be as little as 20 mins. But obviously changing every 20 isn’t doable. It costs enough as it is! When the temperature gets over 20 degrees she poos 4-6 times a day too! So hoping it keeps being cold and rainy!


My son isn’t helped in year 2 at all. In fact the school rarely check him like they are supposed to. Allegedly he goes to the toilet on his own, does a poo, cleans himself and goes back to class? This is news to me as he won’t go near a toilet at home, only for a wee!

Have you got a continence nurse involved or does your area not have them?

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Hi I have a similar situation with my son. Will your son let you know what actually happens at school or does he shut you down when you try to have a talk about it? If so, how have you started successful conversations? Mine does NOT want to talk about it at all!!!😢


Sorry just seen this. He doesn’t say much about it at all to be honest and if I try and get him involved in cleaning himself up he point blank refuses. Just like when I ask him to sit on the toilet.

To be honest, I don’t know what else I can do to help. I just end up giving him his medicine, encouraging him to sit on the toilet (which he refuses to do) and cleaning him up and then washing pants/bedding. I’m fed up with being hit/kicked/punched when trying to get him to the bathroom to clean him up. There is only so much you can do 😞

Hope you have more success than I do!


This is exactly where I’m at with my son. He hits and kicks and spits. We have been trying to think of ways to entice him into the bathroom.

Trying to make it fun and light atmosphere but he still resists and it’s frustrating.

So then it ends up in the pants and he says he doesn’t know when it’s coming all the time. Sometimes it sneaks out. But I think he just needs to regain feeling in the nerves. I have heard that can take a while😬


Have been on sodium picosulfhate since November, yes it’s working in that he is going for a poo (not in toilet) but I wouldn’t say he has feeling at all.

We see the Paediatrician again at start of July. He has been having psychology sessions and his behaviour has been off the scale since these started. Been very physical and hurtful and been refusing to go to school too 😞, managed to get him there eventually!


My son has had similar problems, although not as severely as it sounds like your daughter has. With the exception of a few hiccups support from school has been good. He’s now in secondary and is able to get himself changed if needed. But matron is aware of the problem, he has a special card that allows him immediate release from lesson to see matron (no questions asked) and a spare set of clothes in her office.

Even if your daughters incontinence does not improve at all as she gets older her ability to manage it herself will improve.


BTW - I assume you are getting support from an incontinence service or paediatrician or similar? If not then do speak to your GP - while it’s a really tricky problem to resolve (at least in our experience) there are things that can help.


My son is in Y4 (age 9) and is wet a lot - 20 wees/accidents a day. We send a bag of 3 changes of clothes in daily and he has a pad for mornings (as constant loo trips disruptive to his concentration for maths ). This year he has a TA who reminds him to change. He didn't last year and it was hellish dealing with uncooperative teacher. Was even asked to change him myself - not legal and also I work. In the end to support drinking of water and changes I went to the head/senco and got an Individual Healthcare Plan (IHP) written with them which specifies care. These are a national thing and common reason for them to be drawn up is continence. It is up to school to manage health conditions whilst a child is at school, with your advice and that of any professionals you want on board. Have arranged calls between teacher and continence nurses so they can understand from them what needs to happen. Sometimes they take professionals seriously. I would advise to keep paper trail - email SENCO in advance (i.e. when you move to a new school) and keep notes/email after meetings to say what agreed.

Hope this helps and glad school good at the moment.


It sounds like you’ve been getting fantastic support so far. Our daughter is also coming towards the end of Y1 and we’ve got similar concerns, not least because next year’s teacher is likely to be male. With the help of the county’s Continence Nurse, we’re having a meeting next month with the Senco and class teachers to agree on a revised Individual Health Care Plan for Y1. She’s had one since the autumn, but her symptoms haven’t improved and the school appear to be getting a bit fed up with it. Although they’ve been pretty good, we’ve always had the lingering feeling that they think it’s just a potty training thing. Anyway, it’s interesting to hear that they change your child and that they do this every 90 minutes. This is roughly what our daughter needs but so far such close care has been refused. Your post emboldens us to ask again for better support, because part of the problem for our daughter’s lack of progress is the lack of care she gets at school. She often comes home in the same continence product she went to school in , having peed and pooed multiple times during the day so that it is full to bursting. This is a classroom with two, sometimes three, TAs and a teacher (all female), and toilets literally outside the classroom door! Sorry, going off point. As Mrssquirrel says, we suggest that you arrange a meeting with the senco and school nurse and clas teacher/head of Y2, and agree on an in visual health care plan. You can download a template from the Eric website. By the way, I assume you already know this, but just in case you don’t, with the sticky poo and the frequent wees, it sounds like your child has chronic constipation.


My husband is a head teacher at a special school! So I think the staff at our daughters school will always be helpful!!


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