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Children's Health

Behavioral problem

05/11/2009

Question:

what kind of things can I do for a child (age 5) a boy that continues to pee or poop in a closet or in the bed? His family recently had new born twins. I don`t think this is a health problem as much as a behavirol one.

Answer:

Thank you very much for the question. Based on the information you have shared is not clear whether this child was continent and then relapsed, or has never been continent. An appropriate first step would be to have the child seen by his primary care physician. We know that stress, such as the addition of new siblings, can often cause children to show regression in their behavior. The situation could be worsened with the addition of twins. This is an opportunity for family and friends to help the family members with the twins, so the parents can spend some time with the 5 year old. In addition, family and friends should provide significant praise when the 5 year old has dry days and/or poops in the toilet. Please see the Netwellness page on toilet training for further details.

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Response by:

Stephen E Wilson, MD, MSc Stephen E Wilson, MD, MSc
Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati