D R Patel, H D Pratt
Indian Journal of Pediatrics 1999, 66 (3): 439-46
Encopresis is fecal soiling associated with functional constipation in a child. Constipation and encopresis are common problems in children. Encopresis is most common between ages 3 and 7 years. Infants and pre-school children present with a history of constipation and withholding maneuvers. The school-age child may have constipation and fecal soiling for some time prior to detection. In some children encopresis is associated with enuresis and urinary tract infection. Family education is the essential first step in management, followed by disimpaction of stool and complete evacuation of the rectum. Reaccumulation of stool should be prevented by appropriate use of laxatives and stool softeners. This is followed by a gradual weaning of the laxative regimen and instituting toilet training. Relapses may occur. Up to 50-60% of children achieve acceptable bowel control, free of soiling, within a year.

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