Let's talk about pooERIC’s Let’s Talk About Poo campaign aims to raise awareness of children’s poo problems among parents and health and education professionals so they can recognise when a child might be constipated and feel comfortable talking about bowel problems and getting help. 

Armed with better understanding of children's bowel problems, people caring for a child with constipation can intervene at an early stage with simple measures to help them poo. Early intervention should prevent poo problems from becoming serious.

Through this campaign, we want to stop children and families suffering because of poo problems. We also want to reduce the number of hospital admissions for paediatric chronic constipation and related complications such as urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Visit the Help & Support section of our website for information to help you:

  • understand why children sometimes have difficulty pooing
  • spot the signs and symptoms of constipation
  • know where to go for help to manage or cope with a child’s bowel problem
  • know what treatment is available for serious poo problems

You'll also find information on how to maintain a healthy bowel and tips on getting children to poo.

View our information on bowel problems.

Why talk about poo?

Poo problems are very common in children, particularly in toddlers and pre-schoolers, but also affect older children and teenagers. Problems with the bowel can start at any age and affect between 5% and 30% of children of all ages.

For more facts and stats about constipation, take a look at the infographic below.

Lets talk about poo infographic

Most of the time when a child is having difficulty pooing, whether they’re doing painful or runny poos, the underlying cause is constipation. Constipation can be very uncomfortable and distressing for a child and difficult for the family to deal with.

I don’t think people realise that when there are problems with something as simple as going to the toilet, just how much stress and strain it puts on a family. (Sue, mum to 7 year-old Liam)

Due to a lack of understanding and information about constipation, bowel problems are often misdiagnosed, untreated or treated incorrectly.

It’s important to talk about poo openly and honestly so that you feel comfortable discussing the issue and don’t feel embarrassed getting help when you need it. Over on our ‘stories’ page families that have struggled with children’s constipation share their experiences.

If constipation is recognised early and you know how to manage it and where to go for help and treatment, it can be dealt with effectively. If left untreated, it can develop into a more serious problem and the child may end up having to go to hospital.

Campaign supporter - Dr Ranj Singh

Paediatrician and TV presenter Dr Ranj Singh supports ERIC’s Let’s Talk About Poo campaign.

Constipation can be a major problem in childhood, and if not treated properly, can lead to issues in adulthood too.  Unfortunately, it can be a difficult subject for both parents and children, but the good news is that it’s relatively straightforward to sort out.  It doesn’t have to be embarrassing and no one should suffer unnecessarily – we need to get used to talking about it! (Dr Ranj Singh)

Dr Ranj became a member of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in 2007. He is the co-creator and presenter of the CBeebies’ show Get Well Soon, and also has a kids’ health segment on ITV’s This Morning.

The Poo Song, which Dr Ranj sings with his buddy Deep, is great to sing along to with young children to help them feel relaxed about going for a poo. Watch the video and sing along!

Dr Ranj appeared in a special children’s continence web TV show for ERIC. He dispelled the myths about children’s poo problems and answered lots of questions about children’s continence. Watch the recorded show below or head over to our YouTube channel.

Let’s Talk About Poo game

We’ve created an interactive educational game to play with young children who might be having poo problems. The game is designed to make children feel comfortable talking about poo so that you can discuss their poo problems together.

The aim of the game is to get poo through the bowel and into the loo in the shortest time possible. It teaches children about the different things that will help get poo out and into the loo, such as drinking lots of water, eating a well-balanced diet and doing regular exercise.

If you’re playing the game for the first time, you should read through the instructions on how to play with your child.

The game is available to play on desktop and can also be downloaded to your mobile device from the app store (search for 'letstalkaboutpoo game').

Play the Let’s Talk About Poo game!

Get involved with the Let's Talk About Poo campaign

If you've found our information on children's bowel problems useful, please share it with others to ensure more families access information and support to help them deal with children's constipation.

Join in the conversation about poo on social media by using the hashtag #LetsTalkAboutPoo