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Toilet Training A 5 Year Old


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We have a five year old boy in our reception class. Since he joined us he has continually 'messed' himself. Our school policy is that we are not allowed to clean a child who is in that much of a mess. Children who have simple wet themselves is fine however anything more thanthis the policy is that we have to ring the parents.

 

It got to the stage where we were having to ring mum twice a day to ask her to come and change him. Mum became increasingly angry at having to leave work yet our head was adament that we had to stick to school policy. One reason for this is that before children start with us we ask parents if their child is toilet trained and she told us he was.

We contacted the school nurse for advice and she met with mum. It now transpires that this boy has never been toilet trained by mum at all and so she is now having to go back to basics.

 

I was really just wanting other peoples opinions on this. What do you do in school if a child messes themselves? do you change them or call the parents?

 

I agree with pur policy as obviously we can spend a l ot of our time changing children however it seems very cruel to leave the child in this mess whilst waiting for mum.

 

Lola

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bit of a different situation for us working in a special school. we have two still in nappys but it started with most of the class of 8. We have worked with parents to toilet train them. When they are at school for so long the school needs to have some input. Does he know where the toilet it? Does he know that he can use it at any time and can he ask for it? Is there a regular time of day that he does this ie after lunch and so could you sit him on the toilet around that time to teach him this is where he goes??

not sure about your school policy but those things dont involve having to clean him up/

 

jo

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Oh dear - what a difficult situation for everyone. I accept that accidents do happen and children do develop toilet phobias but I really think that if there is no medical condition then he really shouldn't be doing this twice a day - of course accidents happen with young children and if on the odd occasion this happens then I think we ought to not make an issue of it and just get on and make sure the child feels comfortable but for it to be happening twice a day regularly is something that needs to be addressed by someone and I don't think it should necessarily be you. You may have to work with someone to achieve this but I also think that there are others who should take the lead responsibility in this and you should be there to support this action. Cleaning him up well, a difficult one - you don't want him to feel different - you don't want him to sit around in that condition as it is unpleasant for everyone including the child. I think that a plan of action needs to be drawn up by the HV/SN or someone and in the meantime you should for the time being go along with the policy if you can bear to. If you had another two or three childrne in the same situation what would you do - you couldn't do all of them and whatsmore you may not even have the facilities/personnel to deal with this properly anyway.

Nikki

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Just wondered what you would do if a child was sick all over themselves or had a nosebleed ? Do you have gloves to hand for these things? It must be horrible for the child to have all these adults treating him as 'Dirty' and it isn't his fault.

 

 

:o

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For any kind of incident such as a child being sick or nosebleed, yes we do have to put on an apron and gloves. This is school policy. We go to great lengths to make the child feel comfortable and no adult ever treats the child as 'dirty'. However having said that working in a through primary means that we have to stick to the policies of the school and so wearning gloves etc.. is something which we have to do.

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I see Teri's point in that this as a care need. If we consider that a child is soiling himself, our first priority is his care needs. Waiting for a parent to arrive and tend to his care needs may not be appropriate for the child. A school poliocy that requires information about individual childrens toileting skills development should inform the school of individual needs that the school should then accomodate.

Toileting skills is a physical development, Every provider should meet all the developmental needs of the children in their care. Which includes changing clothes when a child has "messed" himself. To make a child wait for a parent to arrive to change that child is contrevening the childs right to due care. Schools or any settings should have in place systems to ensure that all childrens care needs are met. We cannot deprive children of basic care needs because the parents haven't addressed toileting skills, yes we can support parents in developing these skills but in the meantime we should not ignore the current needs of the child. This is my own personal opinion, if you work with children you have to take the ShXX.

I apologise for any offence but if we are put in a position that we can't meet these basic needs then we need to shout loudly to the heads of department to ensure they deal with it, to enable us to get on with our other daily tasks, to be a voice for the child, or deal with it ourselves. Don't pass the responsibility on the child to mature developmentally beyond their level, or pass the responsibility to parent whilst they are in our (paid)care.

 

Peggy

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I see Teri's point in that this as a care need. If we consider that a child is soiling himself, our first priority is his care needs. Waiting for a parent to arrive and tend to his care needs may not be appropriate for the child. A school poliocy that requires information about individual childrens toileting skills development should inform the school of individual needs that the school should then accomodate.

Toileting skills is a physical development, Every provider should meet all the developmental needs of the children in their care. Which includes changing clothes when a child has "messed" himself.  To make a child wait for a parent to arrive to change that child is contrevening the childs right to due care. Schools or any settings should have in place systems to ensure that all childrens care needs are met. We cannot deprive children of basic care needs because the parents haven't addressed toileting skills, yes we can support parents in developing these skills but in the meantime we should not ignore the current needs of the child. This is my own personal opinion, if you work with children you have to take the ShXX.

I apologise for any offence but if we are put in a position that we can't meet these basic needs then we need to shout loudly to the heads of department to ensure they deal with it, to enable us to get on with our other daily tasks, to be a voice for the child, or deal with it ourselves. Don't pass the responsibility on the child to mature developmentally beyond their level, or pass the responsibility to parent whilst they are in our (paid)care.

 

Peggy

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While I agree that it is unpleasant for the child, schools just dont have the facilities to deal with a child who has soiled themselves. We used to have a showeroom but this was removed to make way for disabled changing facilities (an electric changing table that has never been used and a washbasin so tiny you can barely get one hand in at a time) We usually keep on hand baby wipes change of clothes etc for 'small' accidents but cant (with the best will in the world) deal with anything major.

As a school we are aware of any medical problems (if parents are honest but unfortunately this isnt always the case either) and I feel are very accommodating.

Also it isnt always the case that the child hasnt reached that level of maturity. I have children in my class who are quite capable of using the toilet and do so for the 6hours they are in school but are put back in nappies as soon as they leave school riding in pushchairs and dtrinking from babies bottles (because it is easier for the parent!) We are talking rising 6 years old! :o

Two years ago I had a child in my class who not only soiled himself numerous times a day but also liked to spead it over the toilet walls, his childminder was experiencing similar problems out of school. It turned out it was his way of exerting some degree of control over his life and by phoning his parents to collect him really brought home to them that there was a problem.

Edited by Marion
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I work in a pre-school and our facilities are no greater than those of a school ( 3 small toilets and 3 hand basins with no room to swing a cat) but we recently had to review our toilet training policy. We used to only accept children who were toilet trained and would phone parents to change children who had soiled themselves. However in a letter in the under 5's magazine which queried this subject to ofsted, ofsted replied that ALL settings by law must accept children regardless of their progress with toilet training. To make a child wait for their parent to arrive to change them was against their human rights and the equal opportunities act. Ofsted recommended reviewing policy!!!

I totally agree with this as the child, whatever their age, should be the first one in our thoughts. Even though the staff ratios are higher in pre-school you can guarantee that a child will soil themselves whilst two children have bumped heads together, another child has been sick everywhere and you have a new child who needs the adult support on their first week!!!

We have to keep on smiling whilst reassuring the child, put on the gloves and just get on with it. Schools have my sympathy but at the end of the day its not the childs fault.

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I agree Nicki, it is not the child's fault. At the moment it is very frustrating as we have to follow the school policy which is to ring parents.When discussing our policy with the head teacher i mentioned that nurseries are now not allowed to refuse entry to children who are not toilet trained. I didn't realise this had also extended to schools so will speak to him again about reviewing our policy. I think our heads grumble withthis particular case was that when we meet with parents before children start they said he was toilet trained and now they are admitting that in fact he has never been toilet trained.

 

But like you say it is the child who is suffering so i think like you say a review of policy is needed.

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I thought this was only a problem in pre-school age children because we are taking younger children untill the other day. The health visitor mentioned to me that she had to go and see 2 parents of rising 5's who weren't toilet trained and due to start school.

As far back as I can remember children started school at 5 but why all of a sudden are there all these children who haven't developed this skills?

I just wonder how this makes a child feel when all their school friends use the toilet and they are still soiling/wetting themselves. At this age children are becoming more aware of their bodies.

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We also have difficulties when a child soils themselves. I can see and agree with all points of view. At our school we do not have the staff or phtical facilities to deal with a child who has heavily soiled themselves for example a shower or even changing mat etc. If a child was to have a medical need the school would have to have a shower fitted and additional staff made available to ensure the child's need were met ( I have worked in a school where this was the case) If it is a case of untrained or accidents or minor medical problems then if the child couldn't clean themselves with verbal encouragement then we have to call the parents. Whilst I would wish for things to be different in an ideal world, in a small village school that doesn't have a fulltime secretary or other staff that can be called upon to change a child when you are alone with 15 children it is not possible to leave the children to attend to this child to clean them properly. When we call for a parent the child would have been helped to change and clean themselves as best as we can and as sensitively as we can, all the children that this has affected have been happy to go home have a bath and return to school.

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I thought this was only a problem in pre-school age children because we are taking younger children untill the other day. The health visitor mentioned to me that she had to go and see 2 parents of  rising 5's who weren't  toilet trained and  due to start school.

As far back as I can remember children started school at 5 but why all of a sudden are there all these children who haven't developed this skills?

I just wonder how this makes a child feel when all their school friends use the toilet and they are still soiling/wetting themselves. At this age children are becoming more aware of their bodies.

53615[/snapback]

 

 

As a school we are getting an increasing number of parents who casually mention in the induction visit 'Oh by the way they arent toilet trained yet.....but you will do that wont you?' Our other 'problem' is the number of children who have never been shown how to wipe their own bottom after visiting the loo :o Now as a teacher do I leave the other 29 children unattended to go wipe their bum?

 

You ask how a child who is still soiling feels..... in my experience they either dont seem to notice/worry about it (we had one little boy who continued playing and refused any suggestions of a visit to the toilet) or they are very ashamed to the extent we had one little girl who reqularly hid her soiled pants behind the toilet (mum said she did the same at home) and only mentioned to the staff shed had an accident if there were no other children around. xD Neither of these children had medical reasons for soiling.

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