Later Toilet Training Linked to Childhood Urge Incontinence

Children with condition began training at about 32 months; three months later than controls
By Eric Metcalf
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Beginning toilet training in toddlers after the age of 32 months may increase the likelihood of later urge incontinence, according to research published in the December issue of the Journal of Pediatric Urology.

Joseph G. Barone, M.D., of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, N.J., and colleagues analyzed data from 58 children, aged 4 through 12 years, with urge incontinence, and 157 matched controls. Parents provided information on when toilet training was initiated and whether the parent or child directed the process.

The researchers found that children with urge incontinence began toilet training significantly later (31.7 versus 28.7 months). However, the type of training, in terms of being parent- or child-oriented, was not associated with urge incontinence.

"Initiating training later than 32 months was associated with urge incontinence in our study; however, training prior to 27 months may not be beneficial and has been shown to only lengthen the overall training process. These data may be useful to determine when to begin toilet training. For children who display signs of toilet-training readiness, the available data suggest that training before 27 months provides little advantage, while training after 32 months may increase the risk for urge incontinence," the authors conclude.

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