4 year old poops in underwear daily
by LonnieGail, Dec 08, 2001
My son is 4 years old with normal intelligence (we think above average!) and a very sociable, confident child. He has been potty trained to urinate for almost a year. He  will go on his own and stay dry all day, but he poops in his underwear several times a day- as many as 5 times a day- one pair of underwear after another. The children at school call him "poopoosnack"- which he thinks is funny. (I don't think he understands it is because he smells bad).  He will not sit on the potty at all. If I "make" him sit to complete a movement, nothing results but tears.
by Kevin Kennedy, Ph.D.Blank, Dec 09, 2001
First, be sure to have your son medically evaluated, to be sure his bowels are not compacted and to rule out ony other medical problem. Then, have him evaluated in a child mental health department of a hospital or clinic, and at the very least this will yield a systematic plan for you to follow at home.
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Member Comments (10)
by TaraB, Dec 08, 2001 thought I was the only one going through..this Tyler has been trained since he was 2 and now I am having the same problem...I have tried having him wash out his own underwear, I figure after enough times he won't like putting his hands in it..also one of the kids told him he stinks yesterday..I don't understand this..Tyler too is a very bright child well beyond his years in age....he asks philosophical questions..that normal 4 year olds wouldn't think of?? weird!!!

If you find some help for this..please let me know!! Tara
by LonnieGail, Dec 10, 2001
Can anyone tell me how to find a Mental Health Professional that specializes in children? My son's pediatrician and I have a good relationship, but on this issue we disagree. He says my son needs more fruit, but I think he eats plenty already as well as veggies (he loves broccoli, for example). I do not think he will recommend a specialist and the recommendation is required by my insurance company. Thanks for any advice you can offer.

Tara- I'm glad I'm not the only one, too.
by NurseSharon, Dec 12, 2001
I don't think you understand what may be going on with your son and why his peditrician thinks he needs more fiber in his diet.
In your sons case he may have started this behavior by not wanting to sit on the potty and that caused him to stretch his lower sigmoid colon. This causes him to be impacted so instead of having one normal BM a day he has lost the sensation of needing to move his bowels and he has several incontinent BMs a day instead. By bulking up his stool he will feel them and be able to sit on the potty to expel them instead of them just sort of falling out by themselves. Most likely he is unaware that he needs to move his bowels.
by LonnieGail, Dec 12, 2001
NurseSharon- thankyou thankyou thankyou- so much. No one has ever explained this to me. I thought if he was going several times a day he could not be constipated, but what you said makes so much sense. He goes, but a little along, and then sometimes a very large amount and then not for several days after. I wonder if what you described explains why he eats so little- maybe if I can get him regular he will eat more. For this reason, I'm not sure how to get more fiber into his diet- but it seems like this is the only way to correct this. NurseSharon will the colon shrink back and sensation return after he is regular???
by LRG, Dec 14, 2001
My son is 4 1/2 and was totally potty trained.  About few months ago He started pooping in his pants several times a day also.  I tried more fruits, laxatives and even suppositories, to little results.  I talked with his pediatrician and he said it sounded as if he had a blockage and just enough of the poop was getting around it to soil his pants but that he was unable to expel it.  We ended up having to give him an enema, and you would have been shocked at the size of the poop that he passed.  We have also started giving him Metamucil every day to help get him regulated. This has really seemed to help.  We are still having a little trouble with him not wanting to go, because he is afraid it is going to hurt.  However, our pediatrician did tell us that if he continues to have this trouble that he will need to be examined because there can be some medical conditions to be causing the problems.  Good luck.    We also encourage and reward him(M&Ms, small toys, trip to Burger King, one-on-one time with Mom or Dad) when he does go in the potty.  This kinda helps him to motivation to be willing to try to go even if he is afraid it will hurt.
by rpgouldsr, Dec 19, 2001
My son has begun pooping in his pants several months ago.  He is 8 1/2 years old now.  It is a daily occurrence and my wife and I don't know what to do about it.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.

by sugarmouse, Dec 26, 2001
I am from England and have a 6 year old daughter who poops her pants several times each day. I've noticed all the others who have this problem seem to be boys: is this more common in boys than girls? My daughter has always had problems in the 'pooping' department - she often refused to go when we were potty training her and would become very constipated. We tried everything .... coaxing, praising, encouraging and in the end, holding her on the toilet until she 'performed'. It was very traumatic for all concerned. Now she still poops her pants - not completely emptying her bowels but enough to smell REALLY bad. I'm at the end of my tether with throwing pants away and constantly having to tell her to shower. Help!!
by 8yrold middle, Jan 27, 2002
I have an 8 1/2 yr old son who has been pooping in his pants for 1 year and I have taken him to his Dr several times and I took him to a psychiatrist who said he is ADD and gave him adderall and said the problem will fix itself and said that it is physical not mental....... that was six months ago.  I have taken him to the Dr more and he tells me it is emotional and/or mental and so I am taking him to a new psychiatrist in 2 weeks.  I know my son is developmentally delayed, but I need advise for what to ask to get answers instead of just more dr's passing the buck.