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Encopresis: Note to Child

This information sheet is for children over age 6 who want to get over their constipation and encopresis. Some children are confused about how the body works. Some of them try to prevent stool leakage by holding back BMs rather than releasing them. Ask your child to read these instructions (or read them to your child) every morning during breakfast until following them becomes automatic.

Your wish:

  • To stay clean and not have any poops leak out
  • To not have any pain from big poops

How to do it:

  • Keep your body (rectum) empty of poop
  • Don't let yourself get blocked up ever again

Your job:

  • Go poop every day (don't let it build up inside)
  • Sit on the toilet at least 3 times a day. Unless you do this, your medicines won't work.
  • Take your medicine every day
  • If your poops aren't coming out like they should, sit on the toilet more often. Also ask your parent for extra medicine.
  • If only a small poop comes out, sit on the toilet again in 5 minutes.

For poop that leaks out:

  • The first thing to do is sit on a toilet until a poop comes out.
  • Leakage always means there's a big poop inside (in the rectum) trying to get out.
  • Clean up after you have passed the big poop.


  • Constipation means no poop for 3 or more days. By 4 or 5 days the poop gets stuck inside.
  • Encopresis or soiling means poop leaks out.
Written by B.D. Schmitt, M.D., author of "Your Child's Health," Bantam Books.
Published by McKesson Provider Technologies.
Last modified: 2005-11-07
Last reviewed: 2005-06-01
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright 2006 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved.
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