6-year-old boy with 'accidents' (2023)

Updated April 22, 2013

J. E.pede de Needville, TX


Hello moms! I need advice please I have a wonderful daughter who will be in first grade this year. In the last two months she started having accidents. At first they were just at school and she used excuses like she was too embarrassed to ask to use the restroom or thought the teacher would say no. After I wrote the teacher a note asking her to reassure my daughter that it was okay to ask, things seemed to get better, but the last week has been awful. She's had more accidents at school, but now she just doesn't tell anyone and doesn't tell anyone. And now we've added home accidents. Sometimes it was while playing on Wii Fit, but not always. She told me that this happens because she suddenly feels like she is sick but cannot make it to the bathroom in time. My ex seems to think it's on purpose on her part and insists on discipline as an answer, but I'm not so sure if it is. Can it be medical? I am absolutely at a loss here.

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6-year-old boy with 'accidents' (1)


Replies from Houston

My 10 year old friends were like that and lived with me. We weren't allowed to drink anything after 7 p.m. Shre used pull ups. She never got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. It's a medical condition. Someone recently passed away. She has gone through a major change in her life. Discipline didn't help. It made it worse. She needs to see a doctor. Maybe she just has a very small bladder. As for the 10-year-old, she finally got over it.

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6-year-old boy with 'accidents' (2)


Austin's responses to

The sensor in her body telling her to leave may not be working properly. I had a friend who had to leave on time because she felt like she didn't have to go until it was an emergency.

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6-year-old boy with 'accidents' (3)


Replies from Houston

Hello J.-

If it were me I would take her to the pediatrician just to rule out anything medical.

As for your ex's opinion of it being intentional, I suppose anything is possible, but I don't know many 6 year olds who would choose to crash at school and embarrass themselves in front of their friends!! My guess is that it has medical or psychological causes. Maybe a recent change in her life or something she saw or heard that scared her? My daughter was told by a boy in her preschool class that spiders lived in the bathroom at school. Every time the teacher said it was time to go to the potty, she would complain, make noise, and do whatever it took to not have to go. The teacher finally let her go so we wouldn't have accidents, but it wasn't until a few days later that my daughter told the teacher why she didn't want to go. After I calmed her down, she was fine. My point is that it could be something simple that you haven't identified yet.

Much luck,

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6-year-old boy with 'accidents' (4)


Responses from Waco to

Hello J
Boy how embarrassing for your little girl. This is the experience I had with one of my daughters - she had an undetectable UTI. At one of his regular check-ups, I mentioned Dr. that her fingers looked a little swollen and she was a little swollen under her eyes - and it turned out she had a small infection - this was causing pressure and some uncontrollability - I would just examine her first - so look for something she did caused a little trauma in her little life - talk to her without making too much fuss... and if she's ok - put the pullups on her (under her regular underwear) to make her feel more comfortable at school. I think that soon you will see that the push-ups come dry and she is fine.
Much luck

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6-year-old boy with 'accidents' (5)


Replies from Houston

My little girl had a similar problem...turned out to have a bladder infection (probably from holding her at school all day). She was also 6 years old at the time. She was SO embarrassed when she had an accident... and it usually happened at the end of the day, just before I was going to pick her up. She always had so much fun with public toilets...she hated going to school. We went to the doctor and she diagnosed a bladder infection, gave her antibiotics and had a long chat with her about going to the bathroom if she had to go, no matter where she was... or she could get really sick and end up in the hospital. This seemed to cure her of her reluctance to leave. Good luck... I don't think discipline is the solution and will only make things worse.

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6-year-old boy with 'accidents' (6)


Austin's responses to

It looks like it could be a urinary tract infection. Go to the doctor. Discipline is not the answer.

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6-year-old boy with 'accidents' (7)


Answers from San Antonio to

Hi J,
I will share personal experiences with you. I had the same problem as a kid including bedwetting. The daytime incidents stopped as I got older, not the bedwetting. When I was 15 my parents took me to the counselor thinking it was all on purpose. The consultant recommended kegels (exercises that strengthen the urethra) only after a few weeks and a few months did it start to work. it's been good ever since. I still do kegels to prevent incontinence. To do the exercises, ask her to try to "repeatly stop the flow of urine once the flow of urine starts," please don't blame your daughter. It was very traumatizing to see my mother being so angry with me every morning. The guilt was terrible and the awkwardness of it all enough to eventually turn me into an introvert. I was so relieved when the advisor said he believed me that I wasn't doing it on purpose. when she suggested kegels and explained how to make them and how often (each time urinating) I was more than willing to try them. I was so happy. The counselor even suggested that my parents should seek counseling, but they declined.

hope that helps,

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6-year-old boy with 'accidents' (8)


Austin's responses to


A urinary tract infection was my first thought. That's pretty much an easy fix, just a simple urine test (pee in a cup) and then a round of antibiotics. If your daughter is prone to yeast infections, be sure to alert your doctor before starting antibiotics, as they can cause problems with overgrowth of yeast. As long as a urinary tract infection is the only problem, this should be enough for her.

My daughter started having accidents when she was six years old, although most of them were just intestinal accidents. My daughter was VERY difficult to potty train (didn't train until she was 4) and she is also a strong willed child. Her problem was completely intentional and she only did it in situations where she wasn't getting what she wanted or when she felt she didn't have my full attention (only child!). She had not taken any new medications or stressors at that time in her life, and gentle discipline resolved her problem. However, the fact that her daughter seems embarrassed about this and tries to hide or explain it tells me that she is not doing this on purpose. Hopefully it's an easy fix (like UTI), but if the result is negative, look at the environmental factors. It's possible that this is due to the inner stress of the divorce or, as another respondent said, being afraid of the bathroom for some reason. She may feel embarrassed asking to use the restroom in front of her class. Or she's so busy playing or studying or whatever that she just doesn't realize she needs to go until she REALLY needs to go.

Anyway, keep calming her down and try to get her dad to do the same. Seeing your daughter working together as a team will ease some of her fears. While that's not the cause of the problem, she'll feel better knowing that it's still her family and she's still loved and desired even though family lines have changed. Much luck.

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6-year-old boy with 'accidents' (9)


Replies from Houston

Take her to the doctor immediately!! I just went through this last week with my 5 1/2 year old daughter who is in preschool. She had a urinary tract infection. She wasn't in pain, so the accidents were the only sign.

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6-year-old boy with 'accidents' (10)


Replies from Houston

Hello J!
I have no experience. Personally speaking (nevertheless - my children are younger)... I would call your pediatric practice - talk to the nurse and ask her if you should bring her to you to rule out a urinary tract infection/other and while you're at it, see See if the nurse can offer suggestions on how to deal with this. I'm sure your daughter isn't the only one or the first to experience this.
Other: Your accidents seem to match. with the timeliness of her divorce... maybe it's just a way she's dealing with it? Made visits, etc. Changes at the time of the divorce that could cause stress due to the accidents?
Hope you get to the bottom of this. very happy,

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6-year-old boy with 'accidents' (11)


Answers from San Antonio to

Check her again to make sure she doesn't have a bladder or kidney infection. Discard that first. Then start it on a schedule for now. She may have just had a growth spurt and her bladder has not recovered. Maybe she's just having a hard time feeling like she has to go. She's probably been holding it for a long time because she doesn't want to stop doing what she's doing. That happened to me a lot when I was a little girl. When she realizes she has to go, it's too late. A schedule would help with this. Tell her to try to walk before school, before break, before lunch, after lunch, after rotation, after homework, etc. Which seems reasonable and easy to remember and not too embarrassing. If her teacher already knows, she shouldn't mind letting it happen. If this bothers the teacher, talk to the nurse to request it. Give it time and give your daughter the tools/reminders to deal with it.

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6-year-old boy with 'accidents' (12)


Austin's responses to

It's probably related to the divorce, specifically your ex's reaction to it. Try speaking to your school counselor to see if they can recommend an expert in the field.

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6-year-old boy with 'accidents' (13)


Sherman's answers above

I would encourage you to see your doctor as soon as possible and tell him or her exactly what is going on. It could be a urinary tract infection or something else. I doubt it's intentional, either way your doctor can help.

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6-year-old boy with 'accidents' (14)


Answers from Victoria

I agree with your ex I think it looks like she wants to give up what she's doing and stay on the sidelines. Try setting a timer and when it rings ask her to go to the bathroom. Much luck.

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6-year-old boy with 'accidents' (15)


Answers from San Angelo

I didn't read the others' replies...sorry. And my son is only 2 years old and hasn't learned to use the potty yet, so I might not be the best person to offer advice.
It's possible she has a urinary tract infection. But she would probably complain of pain. it's probably some kind of fear, inattention to her body telling her to go, or just plain laziness (no mean to be mean).
But I would say if she's at your house, let her go to the bathroom every 30 minutes. If that problem is that she's too lazy to go to the bathroom by herself, then the inconvenience of having to go under your supervision every 30 minutes might be enough to convince her that you mean business.
Tell her that at school she always has to go to the bathroom during recess and lunchtime - that way she can at least go every few hours. Perhaps set up a parent-teacher conference so the three of you can talk about what might be keeping them from coming during class.

I hope you discover something. I would hate it if other kids teased her for peeing her pants at school.

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6-year-old boy with 'accidents' (16)


Answers from San Antonio to

Yes, she needs to see a Dr. Her words about having to leave suddenly and seeming to have no warning suggest she needs a medical.

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6-year-old boy with 'accidents' (17)

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Replies from Houston

Hi J,
I am 38 years old and started wetting the bed and having accidents at school at the age of 5. Up to that point I had never had any problems with the potty. Turns out it was the same year my parents got divorced. I don't think it's so much medical, it's emotional. Divorce is difficult. I bet if she gets used to a new routine where you and your ex live apart, the accidents will decrease. This is not meant to make you feel bad. Just that. I find when these little ones are going through something difficult, the reminder to use the potty is last on the list. Be supportive, not judgmental, speak to her in a kind, loving, and reassuring voice. Be her safe place. It will end as soon as it begins.
Good luck to you and your family, I wish you the best,
daisies :)

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6-year-old boy with 'accidents' (18)


Replies from Houston

If this started around the time of your divorce, it could have something to do with it. I read somewhere that children who get wet or dirty may do so because they want or need attention, or because they feel left out, or a similar feeling when there are no other health issues causing it. If this is not the case, you have already been to dr. to make sure she doesn't have other problems? You might want to ask her if the divorce makes her feel different, and that might have been the trigger. I do remember, however, that as a child I often had a hard time getting to the toilet on time because sometimes I suddenly felt like I had to go NOW but it would be outside or somewhere I couldn't make it on time but only when i needed to pee not when i needed to poop like that was usually obvious but no kidding i was fine for a minute and then all of a sudden i had to go, A LOT. Maybe it's your daughter's problem. Remember that a child's bladder is smaller than ours and it may take time for them to get used to the "feeling" that they may have to go. You may need to explain to her that she can't hold much as her bladder is smaller and if she feels like walking it's a natural thing and EVERYONE does so she shouldn't be embarrassed. If the kids are awful and making fun of them, just tell her they're just being silly and try to ignore her, or just say "so what, I have to go. You too, big deal". Maybe this will help. Good luck!

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6-year-old boy with 'accidents' (19)


Austin's responses to

I agree to the possibility of a UTI. Frequency, burning can be signs of infection. They want to deal with it, not only because of the distress it puts on them, but because UTIs can lead to pyelonephritis, an infection of the kidney. This is much more serious than a urinary tract infection.

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6-year-old boy with 'accidents' (20)


Austin's responses to

You describe our daughter perfectly. Here children prevent themselves from going to the toilet until their bladder denates and they don't know when to go until it's too late. Constipation can also play a major role. We have been dealing with this since the 2nd semester of kindergarten and she is now in the 3rd grade. Initially, they told us to drink 21 ounces. water every day at school, going to the bathroom every two hours and being consistent, patient etc. We changed her diet so everything was high fiber...it got better but it came back and never went away completely...Google Dysfunctional Bladder Syndrome and you will find all sorts of information. It affects both boys and girls, but in different ways...
We also bought a vibrating watch to remind them to go to the bathroom... and it might work for some kids, it didn't work so well for our daughter as she just turned it off when she didn't need it To go to the bathroom, she would ignore it and have an accident a few minutes later. After this long time she pretty much knows every two hours and so do I. If they have been teaching for a long time, they are very familiar with this topic.
Much luck.......

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6-year-old boy with 'accidents' (21)


Answers from San Antonio to

Take her to the doctor and get tested for a UTI. This is happening to my daughter and she has no symptoms other than a sudden urge to leave. All she has to do is pee in a cup and if she has an infection they give her medicine and in a day or two she'll be fine.

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6-year-old boy with 'accidents' (22)


Replies from Houston

My daughter is also 6 years old and her father and I are also divorced and she also has "accidents". But the special thing about her is that she ALWAYS had accidents. I just checked her again and found that she has a different urinary tract infection, but a smaller one. She has it all the time, but it's hard to tell because she never says it hurts to go to the bathroom or complains that anything else hurts too. I pay attention to the color and smell of your urine. Your daughter may be upset about the divorce, but you really need to take her to a doctor and voice your concerns. Something more serious could be happening to them than just emotional issues related to the divorce. My daughter is supposed to go to a urologist for a check-up. Just a FYI. Hope that helps.

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