Children’s Incontinence

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It is very common for children to suffer from bladder and bowel issues. Toilet training can be easy for some, and really challenging for others! It is important to know what is a normal part of a child’s development, and when is appropriate to seek professional advice and support. Many of the following conditions can be treated or improved with physiotherapy.

Early intervention can prevent children’s toilet issues from escalating into major problems that affect self-esteem, behaviour, and performance at school.

Bladder and bowel incontinence can also be a very stressful and frustrating time for parents. This issue can cause parents to get less sleep, increase the amount of washing required, buying more clothes, stress on if the child will be ok at school and the cost of incontinence products. At Wisdom Physiotherapy we are here to help, it can take time to work out why your child is having incontinence issues, every child is different. Be patient and be kind to yourself to help your child get better.

What is normal vs abnormal?

If a child who has been toilet trained then at a later stage begins to start regularly having bladder or bowel accidents, they should see a medical professional to be assessed. It is important to realise that all kids develop at their own developmental rates but this is a guideline for parents.


A child is normally able to control their bladder during the day by the age of three or four, if the child regularly wets during the day after age four then this is the time to seek professional advice.

Night time dryness takes a little longer and they should be dry at night by school age. If the child is frequently wetting the bed by school age then it is best to seek professional health advice.


Children are developmentally ready to be toilet trained for bowels by about age three. If a child is having regular ‘poo’ accidents after age three or four then they should be medically accessed.


Bladder symptoms seen by parents:

  • Regular bed wetting
  • Leaking urine on the way to the toilet
  • Going to the toilet to wee less than 4 times a day
  • Bladder incontinence during the day
  • Child’s clothing smelling regularly of urine
  • Child doing different postures before wetting pants – for example crossing legs, squatting, hold private parts.

Bowel symptoms seen by parents:

  • Bowel accidents
  • Regular skid marks on underwear
  • Hard painful ‘poos’
  • Child not wanting to empty bowels
  • Child complaining of regular abdominal pain (could indicate constipation)

What You Can Expect

Our initial assessment allows us to take a thorough history to assess all the factors that may be contributing to your child’s problem. All assessments are conducted in a private and friendly environment.

We will help your child feel as ease during the consultation, using drawing and games to help them explain their worries and knowledges of the situation.

For continence, pelvic and bowel-related issues, the first appointment will also usually involve an external pelvic examination using Real-Time Ultrasound. This is an important step, as it allows us to take a detailed look at what is happening “under the hood”. This information enables us to give you an accurate diagnosis and an understanding of where the issues lie and how to get on top of them.

Following this, where appropriate, Amy will begin treatment. This may include education, gentle massage, “homework” and exercise prescription. Amy will incorporate her advice into a detailed plan for you, with home exercises, goals, and timeframes.

If your child is experiencing issues, don’t put up with them. Physiotherapy treatment is proven to help. We look forward to supporting you and your child.

To make an appointment for your child with Amy Tinetti, please either call (08) 6389 2947 or click here to book online.

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