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Encopresis (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

Any of the following warrants a visit to your child's primary health care professional:

  • Severe, persistent, or recurrent constipation
  • Pain when passing bowel movements
  • Reluctance to pass bowel movements, including straining to hold the stool in
  • Soiling in a child who is at least four years of age
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Encopresis »

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third edition (DSM-III), encopresis is defined as the "repeated involuntary passage of feces into places not appropriate for that purpose...the event must take place for at least 6 months, the chronologic and mental age of the child must be at least 4 years."

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