Word on Health

Word On Toilet Training Children Ahead of Starting School

Our grateful thanks to the children's bowel and bladder charity, ERIC for their contribution to our radio feature (which you can hear again at the bottom of this page) and for the use of the information below. If anything in our radio report resonates with you and you'd like to sign up to ERICS 'All aboard the toilet train' campaign click here. 

Children starting in reception is an exciting but also potentially anxious time for parents. If your child isn’t quite clean and dry, or they have a medical condition such as constipation it can be an additional source of worry. What if they have an accident in class? How do I talk to their teacher about this?

Is your child reliably clean and dry in the daytime? If the answer to that is no, don't panic! Maybe you've been trying but things haven't been going well...There can be reasons why children struggle to get their wees and poos in the potty or toilet. 

How to keep bladder and bowels healthy

  • Check your child has plenty of fluids - a minimum of 6-8 drinks every day.
  • Don't limit their drinks to help them stay dry - it doesn't work! The bladder needs to be properly filled and emptied to behave properly.
  • Let your child choose a water bottle for school, and get them to practice using it. Talk to their teacher to find out what the practice is for allowing children to refill during the day and to be able to keep on their desk.
  • Praise your child if when they come home with an empty water bottle or tell you they refilled it during the school day.

If your child is struggling to get dry in the daytime despite plenty of work on healthy bladder and bowels, look at ERIC's factsheet by clicking here 

Take a look at ERIC's Wee checker to see what colour their urine should be and how much they should be drinking.

Could your child be constipated?  A third of all children struggle with constipation. This can also cause wee problems because the bladder and bowels are closely related. If your child is constipated their tummy may be so full of poo that it makes their bladder misbehave!

Take a look at ERIC's Poo Checker to find your child’s poo type and what it means.

Read ERIC's factsheet, Advice for Children with Constipation and checkout the symptoms of constipation. Your child only needs two of those symptoms to be diagnosed with constipation.

Wee and poo accidents at school. Information about toileting/changing can be found on ERIC's school toilets page.

Like with any big change in routine, there's a lot for your child to adapt to when they first start school and toileting accidents are common. It may be the first time they've used the loo away from home and there are lots of distractions in the class room. Pack them a bag with some spare clothes, pants and wipes so they have these ready.

Accidents usually settle down after a few months, but if you're feeling worried, speak to your child's teacher and look at ERIC's resources on bladder and bowel problems if you think something else could be going on.


Listen to this weeks radio report

All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.