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Urinary and Genital Disorders (Children)

8 year old boy and bowel issues

01/28/2009

Question:

Hi, My 8 year old son sometimes passes bowel movements in his pants during the day.

What boggles me is that he can have no problems for 2-3 weeks and then pass bowel every day in his pants for 1-2 weeks.

We was fully trained by the age of 3 and a half. A bit later than usual because I had gone through a separation. But he was ok before starting school but this problem all started when he started school. I`ve tried many different tactics to help him. One of which is I now have a schedule for him every night at 7:30pm which has helped quite a bit but the problem still occurs probably every 3 or 4 weeks.

My son was diagnosed with ADHD. I wonder if it is linked - haven`t been able to confirm this yet.

Should I consider gettig some testing done? If so, what tests should I request? If not, any other suggestions that could help us?

I always thought if it would have been a physical problam, he would ALWAYS pass bowel in his pants but I`m now questioning if it may be physical.

Thank you for your time. A concerned mom.

Answer:

In my opinion, he needs a medical evaluation, although it does not sound serious. It is possible that he has a behavioral/emotional problem contributing to the issue, but it is also quite likely that he has significant constipation. He may benefit from taking a daily laxative to clean out his colon. I would have him evaluated by his pediatrician or a pediatric gastroenterologist.

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Response by:

Jack S Elder, MD, FACS, FAAP Jack S Elder, MD, FACS, FAAP
Clinical Professor of Urology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University