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Sound the Alarm: It's Potty Time

New Potty Training Device Rings When Child Wets Diaper

By Caroline Wilbert
WebMD Health News

Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD

June 10, 2009 -- Finally, a ring tone aimed at the toddler set. A new potty training device, which rings when a child wets his diaper, significantly improved training results during a study conducted at Flemish day cares.

A total of 39 children in day-care facilities participated in the study, which was published in Neurourology and Urodynamics. Some of the children wore the ring-tone diapers; others in a control group wore a placebo alarm. The children were between the ages of 18-30 months and wore the device for at least 30 hours during a five-day week. The training part of the study lasted three weeks.

If the ring tone sounded, children were encouraged to go to the toilet to finish their business. Children received rewards and plenty of praise when they went potty on their own.

Two weeks after the end of the training period, children were observed for a 10-hour period, and those who had been trained with the alarm devices achieved bladder control 51.9% of the time -- significantly better than the control group's rate of 8.3%.

"The alarm itself distracts the child out of his activity and strengthens the awareness of bladder behavior," co-author Jean-Jacques Wyndaele, professor of urology at the University of Antwerp, says in a written statement. "By bringing the child to the bathroom at that moment, further reinforcement of its awareness is given."

SOURCES: Vermandel, A., Neurourology and Urodynamics, April 2009; vol 28: pp 305-308. News release, Wiley-Blackwell.

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