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ERIC to tackle school toilets

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VOL: 98, ISSUE: 43, PAGE NO: 47

June Rogers, paediatric continence adviser, Knowsley Primary care Trust, and director of PromoCon, Manchester

Regular fluid intake and easy access to the toilet are implicit in any treatment programme for children with wetting and soiling problems. In fact, just by adjusting what, when and how much a child drinks and ensuring regular complete voids can often lead to a dramatic improvement in the wetting problem.

Regular fluid intake and easy access to the toilet are implicit in any treatment programme for children with wetting and soiling problems. In fact, just by adjusting what, when and how much a child drinks and ensuring regular complete voids can often lead to a dramatic improvement in the wetting problem.

However, this simple basic programme is often difficult to implement, with children reporting that there is poor availability of water in schools and that they are not allowed to bring in extra drinks. Access to the toilets, which are often in poor condition, is also often restricted to set times. Just imagine if these rules were implemented in the adult workforce - there would be uproar, yet these restrictions unfortunately persist in many schools today.

The 'Water is cool in school' campaign, initiated by ERIC, has gone partway to enabling children to have free access to water in schools. Those schools that have implemented such programmes have reported only positive benefits, including increased concentration and improved behaviour.

We now need to not only address the issues of restricted access to school toilets but also the state of basic toilet facilities. Children will often candidly state that they will not use the toilet in school because they are smelly and dirty, with lack of privacy and elements of bullying and other antisocial activities reported. Whalley Range High School for Girls in Manchester has recognised the benefit of meeting all their pupils' needs and has created 'super loos' which would not look out of place in any good quality hotel. Plans are now underway, led by ERIC, to work towards raising the standard of all school toilets.

Enuresis Resource Information Centre (ERIC)

34 Old School House, Britannia Road

Kingswood

Bristol BS15 8DB

Tel: 0117 960 3060

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