Toileting and continence issues are on the rise in schools, especially since the pandemic, with some schools reporting that children in Key Stage 1 are still in nappies.
Children who have started school in the last couple of years may have experienced disruptions to baby and toddler groups or pre-school sessions while increasing numbers of older pupils may have medical conditions that require stomas or catheters.
Helping to support schools and young people in Cardiff with their bowel and bladder health is Cathryn Giles, an Early Years Transition Worker in the Education Service at Cardiff Council. In the last year, she has worked with 56 schools and 86 young people with a range of toileting or continence issues – and she is determined to break down the taboo that still surrounds what is an everyday activity for everyone.
“It’s something that everybody does and we need to be able to talk about it so that children feel able to tell teachers when they need to go to the toilet, or if they’ve had an accident, without fear of being judged or getting into trouble. There’s still a taboo around it and I really want to change that so that it’s something that children feel they can talk about,” she said.
In the latest episode of Thrive’s Connected podcast, Cathryn explains how her Thrive training has helped her to take a holistic and nurturing approach to supporting children and young people and she puts forward some simple strategies that will help classroom staff to support children and young people in their settings.
Called Toileting in schools: why it’s about mental as well as physical health, listen to the podcast to learn:
- How emotional wellbeing can affect toileting behaviours
- How Cathryn uses Thrive to support pupils who are having problems
- How Covid has impacted on toileting issues – from online GP appointments through to disruptions to baby and toddler groups
- How classroom staff can support pupils who may be embarrassed about problems with toileting and continence
- Cathryn’s four top tips to help pupils of all age groups to have good bladder and bowel health
- How schools can get children involved in making their loos a better environment so that they feel calm and relaxed when they go
Grab a cuppa and a biscuit and have a listen to find out how you can improve things in your school.