Encopresis faecal incontinence

Bowel control is normally achieved by the age of 4 years. Faecal incontinence affects 1 per cent of school-age children. Its causes include the following:

• constipation with overflow due to physical disorders such as anal fissure and Hirchsprung's disease

• diarrhoea, due to infection or other physical causes, or anxiety

• psychological problems such as neurotic disorders or disturbed family relationships

• learning disability.

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