Children and Restroom Accidents at School

It seems really odd that this topic even need to be discussed about school age children. However, after talking with several kindergarten and first grades teachers it seems that the problem is fairly common. Therefore, I feel it my duty to discuss it.

What should be done about school age children that are not potty trained? Yes the problem exists. I have heard of the child that has the occasional accident. But this is completely different. I am referring to children that repeatedly have accidents. The accidents occur on a daily basis. The child may have both ‘number one’ and ‘number two’ accidents.

The natural response is to contact the school nurse and the parents. The nurse typically discusses possible medical problems and suggest that the parents take the child to the doctor. The school guidance counselor is also usually involved. These types of problems can also be identifiers of more serious emotional troubles.

However, this can still leave the teacher and other students hanging out in left field. It can be very disturbing to have a child that continuously has accidents in his/her pants. The child usually gains a negative reputation among the other students. The open restrooming in clothing can also be a health hazard and a very undesirable event in the classroom.

In some cases the parents are asked to put a pull-up or diaper on the child. However, the underlying cause should also be sought. The parents cannot expect the school staff or teacher to change the child if no medical problems have been diagnosed. For special services and required staff, the child would need an individualized educational plan (IEP).

I feel that in cases such as these (given that no medical problem can be found) the child should probably spend another year at home until he/she is mature enough to handle taking care of personal daily needs.

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