Children's Continence Project
MedEquip4Kids Project Focus: Paediatric Continence
What is continence?
Continence nurses work with any child who has trouble becoming potty trained, or who has persistent bedwetting or day wetting problems. Any child with bladder or bowel problems can be referred to their local continence team and can benefit from professional intervention.
Who needs continence support?
The children who are under the care of continence nurses all suffer from bladder or bowel conditions. In Manchester they estimate that two thirds are on the caseload as a result of physical or learning disabilities, including Down’s syndrome or autism. Children with these disabilities often struggle to recognise the signals to visit the toilet. The remaining third are there because they may have psychological or social reasons for not being successfully potty trained. These children are usually only one the caseload for a short time.
What is a continence service:
In the past it was the norm for children with disabilities to be given nappies on prescription and little effort was made to potty train them. It is now understood that for a large percentage of these children, correct intervention early on can lead to a lifetime of not wearing nappies. Particularly when working with children with autism, once a child is in a routine of wearing nappies it is almost impossible to break after the age of 12. It can commonly take 12-18 months to potty train a child with a disability and parents often do need support and advice to get through it.
How can we help?
MedEquip4Kids has been working with continence teams from across the North West for over 10 years. We have now identified that there is a need nationally that is not currently being met. Children respond better when they have more tools and resources at their disposal. We have decided to focus on Continence for the next twelve months, and will be accepting applications from teams across the UK. We will have a dedicated fund set aside to provide these resources and we will be reviewing the project quarterly to allocate more funds if necessary.
2012 project review: over two phases, we supplied resources to 21 continence teams, valued at over £12,000 in 2012. Thanks to everyone who supported this work. Full evaluation of our resources will be carried out in April 2013.
How can you apply?
Please download our application form, guidelines and suggested list.
Our next deadline is 28th March 2013.