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Could premature potty training harm your kids?

Written by Admin |Updated : July 22, 2012 6:40 PM IST

potty-trainingDon't pressurise your kids to potty train before they turn three, urges a paediatric urologist.

Dr Steve Hodges, a professor at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, has said that premature potty training might lead to toilet mishaps because a child's bladder is not strong enough to deal with the situation. It might also lead to constipation, kidney damage and even urinary tract infections. This is because children may be holding it in longer than they should. "Children under age three should not manage their own toileting habits any more than they should manage their college funds," the Daily Mail quoted Dr Hodges as telling Dr Hodges penned the book, 'It's No Accident', to debunk myths that parents should strive to get their children out of diapers and onto toilets as early as possible. The book suggests that children need to learn 'uninhibited voiding', or elimination, in a manner that they can respond to their bodies urges in a judicious manner.

Once they can fully figure that out, then parents can bring them to the bathrooms. When parents train too early, it can lead to devastating problems in the future. "Virtually all toileting problems - pee and poop accidents, bedwetting, urinary frequency, and urinary tract infections - are related to chronically holding pee or poop or both," he wrote. "It's typically the kids who trained earliest and most easily who develop the most serious problems," he wrote.

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Dr Hodges, who runs a clinic, said that half of his toddler patients have toileting issues, the ones who were forced to potty train before they turned three.

"Since parents tend to believe potty problems are normal, many don't bother bringing their kids to the doctor," he said. "The bladder needs about three or four years to grow and develop, and uninhibited voiding (read: diapers) facilitates maximum growth," he added.

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