Entries in Toilet (2)


Is Early Potty Training Harmful?

Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Thinkstock(WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.) -- As soon as toddlers are able to walk and communicate their needs, many parents rush to get their kids potty trained.  But the hard and fast recommendation by many experts to get children out of diapers before age 3 is a myth and can even be dangerous for some children, according to one expert.

"Children under age 3 should not manage their own toileting habits any more than they should manage their college funds," wrote Dr. Steve Hodges, a pediatric urologist at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, in an article on the parenting website

Many mothers begin training because of a variety of life factors, including the need to have a child potty trained so they can go to day care programs or school.

But preschools and facilities that require children to be potty trained by age 3, "are harming kids," according to Hodges.

A child's bladder, which continues growing to its standard size until age 3, grows stronger and faster when it's filling and emptying uninhibited, said Hodges.

"When you train early, you're interrupting that process," he told ABC News.

Training a child too early can lead to toilet accidents because the bladder may not be strong enough.  It may also lead to constipation, kidney damage and even urinary tract infections, said Hodges.  Mainly children are holding in their bowel movements longer than they should, he said.

These conditions may also be signs of forced training, according to some experts.

To prevent medical complications, children should be allowed uninhibited elimination until they are ready, Hodges said.

Age doesn't matter when it comes to potty training, according to many experts.  Some children are ready earlier than others.

A child's social, cognitive, and physical skill sets should dictate whether a child is ready to train, said Dr. Stephanie Hines, pediatric developmental and behavioral specialist at Beaumont Hospital's Center for Human Development.  

"At their age, they have control over sleep, eating, and going to the bathroom," said Hines. "So this is one of the few areas of their life they have control over."

Hines said the control should stay with the child.  If the child is resisting potty training, parents shouldn't force it, she said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Flushing Toilet Can Spread Diarrhea Disease

Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Flushing the toilet with the lid up can spray diarrhea-causing bacteria into the air, according to a new study of hospital toilets.

Researchers from Leeds Teaching Hospitals in the U.K. detected C. difficile—a germ that can cause diarrhea and even life-threatening inflammation of the colon—nearly 10 inches above the toilet seat after flushing lidless hospital toilets. C. difficile is frequently found in hospitals and long-term care facilities where antibiotics are common.

“The highest numbers of C. difficile were recovered from air sampled immediately following flushing, and then declined 8-fold after 60 [minutes] and a further 3-fold after 90 [minutes],” the researchers reported in the January issue of the Journal of Hospital Infection.

C. difficile was spotted on surrounding surfaces 90 minutes after flushing, with an average of 15 to 47 contaminated toilet water droplets landing in the nearby environment, according to the study.

“Lidless conventional toilets increase the risk of C. difficile environmental contamination, and we suggest that their use is discouraged, particularly in settings where [C. difficile infection] is common,” the authors wrote.

Although the study focused on hospital toilets, experts say the findings extend to public restrooms and households.

“Almost everywhere we go, except in some public spaces, we have lids on our commodes. But not everyone puts them down when they flush,” said Dr. William Schaffner, chair of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “Doing so will reduce this type of environmental contamination very substantially.”

A 2004 episode of Myth Busters found lidless toilets do indeed spray water onto surrounding surfaces—including toothbrushes—but concluded the health risk was negligible. In fact “control” toothbrushes removed from the restroom during the flush were also speckled with fecal bacteria.

In recent years, C. difficile infections have increased in number and severity—a trend Schaffner said might wane if more people opt to drop the lid.

“We don’t know this, but it is intriguing,” Schaffner said. “Just remember: put the lid down before you flush and always wash your hands.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio