Health  Vol.8 No.15 , December 2016
Satisfying Toilet Needs in Pre-School
—Experiences of 5 - 6 Years Old
Abstract: Background: It is known that, for reasons of hygiene and/or anxiety, some first year primary school children actively choose to avoid going to the toilet whilst at school, while at the same time many young children’s primary care visits are due to urinary tract and bowel problems. By this age most children can recognise the bodily signals indicating the need for a toilet visit, and can independently perform the associated routines. Aim of this study was to describe the experience of healthy 5 to 6 years old when needing and using toilets whilst at pre-school. Methods: A qualitative descriptive method was used. Seventeen children aged 5 to 6 years were interviewed. Results: Nearly all used the toilet when the need arose, but there were times during the day when their freedom to use the toilet was restricted. Most children experienced periods of waiting outside the toilet and a long wait could result in a decision to not use it. On those occasions when help was needed, it was usually necessary to shout once or more in order to attract the teacher’s attention. Some children found the toilets clean and fresh while others found them dirty and smelly. Privacy during toilet visits was desirable among the children but queue outside the toilet was a cause of worry. Conclusion: The children were mostly able to use the toilet whilst at preschool, despite the challenges to their senses and integrity and occasionally issues with the teacher’s rules. The need for privacy often had to yield to the teacher’s need to control the children or even because toilet doors and/or locks were not adapted to the children’s requirements.
Cite this paper: Lundblad, B. , Johansson, R. , Wigert, H. and Hellström, A. (2016) Satisfying Toilet Needs in Pre-School
—Experiences of 5 - 6 Years Old. Health, 8, 1687-1696. doi: 10.4236/health.2016.815164.

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