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Faecal incontinence

26 December 2022

Faecal incontinence in children

What is faecal incontinence?

Faecal incontinence is the inability to control bowel movements, leading to involuntary leakage of faecal matter. This condition can have a significant impact on children's day-to-day life and there are various treatment options available.

What are the symptoms of faecal incontinence?

Common symptoms of faecal incontinence in children include soiling accidents, difficulty passing stool, and the feeling of incomplete evacuation. In some cases, children may also experience abdominal pain or discomfort as a result of the condition.

What causes faecal incontinence?

The causes of faecal incontinence in children can be divided into three main categories: physical, functional and psychological. Physical factors may include anatomical abnormalities such as anal fissures or rectal prolapse; functional factors refer to issues with the functioning of the muscles involved in controlling bowel movements; and psychological factors involve emotional problems that may be affecting the child’s ability to control their bowel movements.

Should you see a doctor about faecal incontinence in children?

Yes, as faecal incontinence can have a significant impact on the child’s quality of life and well-being. It is important to seek medical advice in order to diagnose the underlying cause of the condition and determine an appropriate treatment plan. Treatment plans may involve lifestyle changes, such as dietary modification or toilet training; medications; or in some cases, surgery.

How is faecal incontinence diagnosed?

Diagnosis of faecal incontinence typically involves a physical examination, imaging tests such as an X-ray or MRI scan, and laboratory tests. The doctor may also ask the child questions about their medical history and symptoms in order to identify any potential causes of the condition.

What treatment is available for children with faecal incontinence?

The treatment of faecal incontinence will depend on the underlying cause. In some cases, lifestyle modifications such as dietary changes or toilet training may be recommended; in other cases, medications or surgery may be necessary. It is important to discuss the various options with your doctor so that a suitable treatment plan can be established for your child's individual needs.

What financial assistance is available for children with faecal incontinence in Australia?

In Australia, families with a child who has faecal incontinence may be eligible for financial assistance through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The NDIS provides support for individuals with disability-related needs and can help cover the costs associated with treatment and care. Furthermore, families may also be able to access funding through the Department of Health and Ageing’s Continence Aids Payment Scheme (CAPS).

How can you look after yourself and your family?

It is important to remember that faecal incontinence can be a difficult condition for both the affected child and their family. It is important to look after your own mental health, as well as that of your child, by seeking support from healthcare professionals or counsellors if needed. Finally, it is essential to ensure that you are following the recommended treatment plan and that you are monitoring your child's progress.