Treating Encopresis Early

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, one of the most important tasks of parents is to quickly seek a solution for this problem. Many parents feel isolated, embarrassed or frustrated, however they should not wait too long to pursue treatment for their child.  If the symptoms are allowed to linger, the child’s self-esteem and social confidence may suffer, and they may develop megacolon.

An interpretation of the findings in the article Empirically Supported Treatments in Pediatric Psychology: Constipation and Encopresis states that “parents and professionals should not wait to aggressively pursue treatment of constipation and encopresis to see if the child ‘grows out of it,’ but should instead pursue earlier intervention to increase the chances of complete elimination of symptoms” (McGrath et al., 1998).


Consulting With A Physician

Parents should consult with their child’s doctor or locate a pediatric gastroenterology specialist familiar with encopresis.


Solving Encopresis – Four Basic Principles

It is important to remember that while most encopresis begins with constipation, by the time children begin soiling regularly, many no longer experience the typical symptoms of constipation.  They may be passing bowel movements fairly often and not suffering from pain when they pass bowel movements. In children with encopresis, avoiding the toilet is often a habit that began a long time ago. It is also important to understand that most children with encopresis no longer feel or respond to the urge to pass a bowel movement.

Solving childhood encopresis successfully revolves around four basic principles, all of which are addressed in UCanPoopToo:

  1. The complete emptying of the colon.
  2. The establishment of regular bowel movements.
  3. The maintenance of regular bowel movements.
  4. Reducing concerns and issues within the family brought on by the child’s symptoms.

Children can and should play an active role in ending their poop accidents.  It is important they understand the underlying causes of encopresis, know how to poop correctly, and help re-train their bodies to recognize when to poop.