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A Toilet Question


Clare
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Hello.

 

A friend of mine picked up her son from nursery this afternoon and mentioned that when she got him home, he was complaining that his bottom was sore. So she had a look and said she was horrified to see that he had been to the toilet, but his bottom was still dirty. She was really angry about it and so phoned the nursery to ask why he had been sent home in that state.

 

The manager told her that it was not the policy of the nursery to wipe children's bottoms after using the toilet and that basically there was nothing they could do about it, until the child is able to wipe his own bottom.

 

I have a feeling that we are not meant to wipe children's bottoms, but I know that it does happen. Am I right in thinking this? My friend feels as though her son has been neglected whilst at nursery and that they haven't been particularly helpful. I've told her to wait a while and see if anyone here can tell me what the 'right' procedures are now!

 

Thanks :D

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Hi, I work in a sessional pre-school so procedures might be different, if a child has an 'accident' we wipe, clean and change but like when changing nappies two members of staff have to be present and it has to be logged. The same applies if a child asks to be taken to the toilet. When it comes to children who frequently mess themselves we have called the parents to come in and sort it out. You do get very independent children who happily go to the toilet on their own and if they don't wipe themselves properly there's not a lot you can do if they don't mention it to anyone.

Karrie

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At our pre-school we would give a child whatever help they asked for when using the toilet. I am not aware that we are not allowed to wipe children when we now have to change children if they have a toilet accident.

Once we know that children are capable of wiping themselves and washing and drying their hands afterwards we encourage them to use the toilet independently as long as they tell an adult that they are going out of the room. Younger children know to call us if they need help. With the best will in the world it is possible that a child may not wipe themselves properly.

How old is your friends child? Whilst I wouldn't expect a very young child to wipe themselves I would encourage an older child to sort themselves out. On many ocassions I have asked parents to encourage independence.

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we give help if we know the child is 'younger' or may need assistance or if they ask.

As we encourage independence we do not follow children to check them but we ask parents to encourage independence in this area by teaching their child how to cope, some children just do not want a 'stranger' (not parent) wiping them or do not ask and better to allow them independence than get worried about it and trying to hang on!

I have had some who will avoid the toilet if they know someone will be following them and watching, ending up in the inevitable accident!

 

Inge

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we are the same as Inge if we need to take a child then obviously we will check the child has a clean bottom, but if the child goes independantly and does not ask for assistance then we would not know...... :)

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same here.............if the child takes themselves, we assume they are independent enough to complete the whole task.We will always help younger children, or those who ask for help.We do ask if they have wiped themselves properly, flushed the loo and washed their hands and have never received complaints from parents, so I guess our charges are very good at dealing with the necessaries!!That said, we had a child last week who is usually brilliant at going to the loo etc and hes two and a half, but sadly, he suffered a bout of diarrhoea and tried to clean it up himself............poor little lamb, it took me some time to sort that little lot out! :o had to clean and disinfect everything (by the way, we do not use two staff when changing nappies either.)

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This has arisen many times, try a forum search. In our setting, the accepted practice is to offer assistance, but not force it on the child - some parents ask us to check, then 'remedy' if necessary ( :o ). As we have had complaints regarding this in the past, this is what we do!!

 

Oh, and also, the 2 staff present thing has cropped up as well, so long as the staff member is vetted, there is really no need for this.....

 

 

Sue

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I agree with Sue R's comment re: 2 staff, this is not necessary, and can actually be seen as invading the childs right of privacy.

 

With regard to toileting if a child who is at the age/stage of being able to wipe their own bottom or is learning to then if they ask me for help I instruct/direct them through the motions ( pun not intended) , ie: "Get some paper", (that's enough !!!) I then have the child hold the paper whilst I guide their hand, holding their wrist, whilst wiping themselves. I never actually wipe the childs bottom for them. This only needs to be done a few times before a child is competent to do it themselves, and yes there may be 'skid' marks but this is to be expected. We communicate to parents their individual childrens toileting sskills and ask they follow on at home by not always doing it for them there. This is more about developing independence than any child protection issue. Lots of praise of course, when they do do it themselves. :D

 

I have known children to call staff for help when I know they are quite capable of doing it themselves, these children are using this task to gain attention. When this is noted we work harder at offering positive attention at other times to increase the childs esteem.

 

Peggy

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We started using two staff for toiletting after a new member of staff joined and told us about a little boy in her previous nursery who told his parents 'the teacher touched my willy'. Ofsted were called in; everyone was eventually exonerated but obviously not a nice experience to have to go through and a lot of parents removed their children anyway. The recent child protection course I went on also recommended using two staff for the protection of the children and staff.

Karrie

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I am worrying now as we don't use two members of staff to take the children to the toilet as it affects our ratios, we have to leave the main room and go through a locked door to use the toilets, I don't think it's feasible to let two members of staff go, we have thought about it, but what do we do??We are stuck by our circumstances :o

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maybe i should have added that our toilet is in the corner of our main playroom, so it's in sight of everyone at all times.therefore, no need for two staff and Ofsted were very happy with our arrangements.But I do think, that in normal circumstances, as long as staff are vetted properly, one should be sufficient,though i take the point about allegations against staff.Maybe the answer is to always leave the toilet door slightly ajar when staff are in there with a child, so less risk of misinterpretation??

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Thanks for the replies everyone! As always Sue and Peggy, you always make a lot of sense! I agree with you Sue, why have the vetting business if we still need 2 staff members to go and supervise the children in the toilets? I understand the child protection implications that could come about but agree with your point.

 

Peggy, I liked your way of doing things, guiding the children to do it themselves. I didn't think of it in terms of developing their independence in this area, but I think that is because I've not been working for a while and at home, Natalie and I are not at that stage yet!

 

Thanks again, everyone!

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Agree with the wise words already posted re: the need for 2 staff members to support children in the toilet... this could be intimidating for a child and should not really need to happen (although it cannot be guaranteed) with vetted staff. However, I appreciate those that have had/heard of allegations made against themselves or staff that this could be a route to take.

 

As far as affecting ratios is concerned - Ofsted look at the ratio on the whole provision and the availability of staff, so if two staff had to leave the room, this shouldn't really be a problem as long as the care and safety of the remaining children is not compromised (the same applies for staff on breaks, but that's a whole different topic!)

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I'd like to see this whole business cleared up once and for all. Going to different settings on supply I see so many different ways of toileting children. In some the children cant go alone, in others boys and girls have to go seperately, sometimes I can help with toileting sometimes it's forbidden. If we are all working to the same set of standards and all inspected on the same criteria by the same organisation, how come there are so many ways of putting it all into practice? Drives me nuts! :o

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I agree Rea, unfortunately when practitioners are faced with various interpretations from inspectors, advisors etc our working lifes have become too much like big brother. We all know what 'Big brother' does to people don't we, total loss of common sense. :o

 

Peggy

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Our children have to be escorted to the toilet as it is downstairs. However If 1 wants to go we always ask if anyone else wants to and try to avoid taking only 1. The door is always left open whether we have to go in to help or wait outside.

 

Al

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