In this section
Children who have had
a brain injury can sometimes have problems with toileting. After a brain injury, children who were previously toilet trained can become incontinent
(have no control over wee and/or poo) because the
usual mechanisms in the brain for controlling the bladder and/or bowel may be damaged.
Children often experience
urinary problems such as:
In the early stages of
recovery, a child may require a catheter (a tube into the bladder) to
monitor how much urine they are making and how their kidneys are
working. A toileting regimen can be started as the child becomes more aware of their surroundings. Some simple measures can be taken
to help the child, such as toileting them at regular intervals and
reducing their fluid intake in the evenings. Using a reward chart
each time the child stays dry may also be useful. During
retraining, the child may need to wear a nappy or incontinence
Children with a brain
injury may also experience problems with their bowels. A
combination of factors such as mobility, inactivity, diet,
medications and impaired thought processes can contribute to this
problem. If a child is very constipated then they can have overflow
incontinence of faeces (poo coming out frequently when they don't
expect it to).
To help prevent or treat
constipation, the doctor may prescribe either oral medications or
bowel preparations for the child. Choosing food that is high
in fibre, bulk or roughage - such as fresh fruits, vegetables and
wholegrain foods - will help keep your child regular. A toileting
program to encourage more regular bowel habits may also be
Developed by The Royal Children's
Hospital Paediatric Rehabilitation Service based on information from the Brain
Injury Service at Westmead Children’s Hospital. We acknowledge the input of RCH
consumers and carers.
Reviewed September 2020.
Kids Health Info is supported by
The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation. To donate, visit www.rchfoundation.org.au.
This information is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professionals. The authors of these consumer health information handouts have made a considerable effort to ensure the information is accurate, up to date and easy to understand. The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies, information perceived as misleading, or the success of any treatment regimen detailed in these handouts. Information contained in the handouts is updated regularly and therefore you should always check you are referring to the most recent version of the handout. The onus is on you, the user, to ensure that you have downloaded the most up-to-date version of a consumer health information handout.