Using the toilet is a bigger issue for children than people realise, whether a child is ‘disabled’ or not. One child in 20 is now disabled- a figure that has increased over 60% in five years. Continence issues affect 1 in 12 young people. That means over 1.5million children potentially need support.
Changing a few things about the WC itself can make a huge difference on the child’s ability to toilet hygienically and independently.
“A child needs to feel safe whatever they are doing,” observes Mark Sadler, sales director at Closomat, Britain’s leading provider of enabling toilet solutions. “Paediatric specialists will add that enabling a child to toilet without help has a huge impact on the child’s feeling of wellbeing and independence.”
Toilets in a home environment are primarily designed and built for adult users, so straight away a child has the issue of being to get on and off, or, if they are disabled, to transfer. They may need support whilst sat on the WC. They may need help to clean afterwards.
The choice of toilet aids is influenced by a number of factors: how long will the child need it, how capable is the child at transferring on/off the toilet, whether the child balance unaided on the toilet, for example.
A range of support systems are now available, to help position the child in the right position over the pan, and ensure they are- and feel- secure whilst ‘going’: a relaxed frame of mind facilitates the whole process. Most of these support systems have a degree of adjustability built-in, to enable them to be altered to accommodate the child as he or she grows. The latest option is a complete, mobile hygiene system (the Rifton HTS), which helps a more disabled child undertake all personal hygiene without having to transfer, or be transferred, from one aid to another. >
The ultimate solution is a height-adjustable wash & dry (automatic shower or bidet) toilet. The Lima Lifter, for example, is supplied with integrated support arms. It can, at the push of a button, be lowered and raised as required, so the seat is as low as 455mm from the floor, or raised as high as 755m. As the height adjustability is user-controlled, it means all members of the family can use the same toilet, however small or tall they may be.
The Lima Lifter further incorporates integrated douching and drying, which can be user-selected. Therefore, every user in the household can choose whether to use the WC in the conventional way, wiping clean afterwards with toilet tissue, or can choose to spare themselves the twisting, contorting and unreliability of that technique, and let the toilet wash and dry their bottom, which is does to a consistent standard.
To help people make an informed decision on such aids, Closomat has produced a white paper Guidance & Considerations In the Provision of Toileting Aids for Disabled Children It can be downloaded here, free of charge.