Soiling in Children

Soiling occurs when there is uncontrolled emptying of the bowel. This can occur at any time and causes severe embarrassment and results in social problems for school aged children and acute anxiety for adults. This problem can be experienced by adults and children of any age. It can be sorted with a program specifically addressing individual problems. It can be fixed.


The stools may be too loose or liquid as in the case of severe Diarrhoea. The anal sphincter (opening to the bowel) is designed to control the emptying of a solid mass at an appropriate time. It is never able to control liquid.

Constipation is a major cause of soiling. It can cause a blockage anywhere in the bowel and liquid can overflow around this blockage. The sphincter cannot control this rush of liquid. It then appears there is a problem with diarrhoea, however, the primary cause is constipation.

Retained Stools
Fear of opening the bowels causes children to repeatedly hang on or defer doing a poo. This is usually associated with a previous tear of the anal sphincter and severe pain. Especially in children this can cause great anxiety and fear related to doing poos, and it can become a big problem at home and at school.


  • Teaching good bowel habits – no straining or pain.
  • Pelvic floor training.
  • Maintaining good consistency of stools – not too hard or too soft.