IN THIS ARTICLE
The extent of follow-up needed for encopresis varies. Your child's health care professional will probably want to see the child at least once after treatment is well under way to ensure that the treatment is working or to alter treatment if necessary.
The best way to prevent encopresis is to prevent constipation in the first place. Make sure the child gets a varied diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables and whole grain breads and cereals. The child should drink water and other fluids frequently and be physically active every day. Finally, make sure the child has a regular time every day when he or she sits on the toilet. After a meal is the best time for this.
Generally, the outlook is excellent for children who undergo the treatment regimen outlined here. Many children who do not undergo treatment are able to resolve the problem on their own as they grow up, but this can take many years. The problem can persist into adulthood.
Medically reviewed by Margaret Walsh, MD; American Board of Pediatrics
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/19/2016
Stephen Borowitz, MD
Bhupinder Anand, MD
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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."