Incontinence is usually thought
of as a condition strictly limited to the elderly, or at
the very least those who are “older.” We rarely think of
children having to deal with incontinence. But, in some
cases of Spina Bifida, Traumatic Brain Injury and
Neuromuscular Diseases, incontinence is part of daily
life, part of growing up.
According to the Association for
Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, children with these
diseases can learn to control their bladder and bowel by
working out a routine of evacuation.
technology has provided children as well as adults with
assistance in bladder evacuation. These include the use
of a Clean Intermittent Catheterization (CIC), which is
a tube the child can use every three to four hours. An
Indwelling Catheter continuously in the bladder and the
urine simply drains into a bag.
Today there are also medicines and
a variety of surgical procedures available to assist
children in maintaining bladder continence.
Surprisingly, the Kegel's exercises which women have
been instructed to practice for urinary incontinence has
also been shown to be effective in assisting young girls
as well. Speak to your continence advisor about these
exercises. To develop more control over bowel
incontinence, a doctor can prescribe enemas. Speak with
your doctor about how to provide the most effective
enemas, and preventing or at least limiting unplanned
evacuations. Medicines are also available as are
To assist your child’s body in more
easy and routine bowel evacuation, have your child drink
lots of liquids. Stay clear of caffeine (including teas
and sodas). Liquids help flush the system and soften the
fecal matter. Cranberry juice is good for the bladder as
well as easing the bowel evacuation.
should also eat a lot of fresh fruits, vegetable, and
cereals. Exercise will help the body as a while stay in
better shape, but in terms of controlling continence, it
will assist in more controlled bowel evacuations as
well. Exercise helps to keep a bowel fit!
In creating a
routine for your child to follow, and hopefully for your
child’s body to adapt to, meals should be eaten at the
same time each day. Bladder and bowel emptying should be
regularly scheduled as well.
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