While many people can use incontinence to refer to different things, here we’re talking about the involuntary loss of bladder or bowel control.

When you have a child with a disability, incontinence can be a big part of their life. But, finding the right products can be difficult at times. While adult products are often readily available, these won’t suffice when it comes to a teen, larger child or youth, but the right products are out there.

Below, we’ve highlighted everything you need to know when looking for incontinence products for a child, teen or youth.

Types of disabilities affected

When it comes to incontinence, there isn’t just one type of disability that can be affected by it. In fact, multiple disabilities can result in incontinence. These include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Downs syndrome
  • Fragile X syndrome
  • Klinefelter’s syndrome
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Paralysis/Spinal cord injury
  • Phenylketonuria
  • Spina bifida
  • Additional intellectual and/or physical development disorders

However, something you should remember is that these disabilities, and others, are not always the cause of incontinence. There are many young people out there living with a wide variety of disabilities that don’t live with incontinence challenges. But, with that in mind, it’s also important to remember that the severity of the issues can differ from person to person.

The difference between adult and youth products

When a child is small and potty training, finding products can be relatively simple, much in the case for adults with incontinence problems. However, when it comes to a larger child, teen or you, there are more specific special needs incontinence products that are required.

While a young person may have the same needs as an adult when it comes to incontinence, their bodies are very different. This is what makes buying incontinence products for a larger child, a teen or a youth, much more difficult. This is because they have a shorter rise, which means their distance between their crotch and waist is usually smaller.

Therefore, adult size incontinence products tend to be too big in the waist and leg openings, as an adult can be anywhere from one to two inches longer in the rise. This could result in the waistband of the product being around the rib cage of a much younger person.

But there are items out there designed specifically for their bodies, which have been downsized to fit youths, which fit better to help control any leakage while keeping them comfortable.

Things to know

When it comes to incontinence products for a child, teen or youth, there are certain things you need to keep in mind.

These are:

Type: each child will have specific requirements, which means you’ll need to consider their needs when purchasing products. After all, no child is the same. Below you’ll find more details about the type of products available.

Fit: when it comes to specialist products, they aren’t the same as ones you would buy for a baby or toddler from the shop. Instead, you’re now buying according to waist size and not weight to fit your child perfectly without leakages, while keeping them comfortable.

Capacity: this is probably one of the most crucial elements, as you need to know roughly how much fluid your child will produce, which will help you to choose the right product. Absorption levels include light, moderate to heavy and overnight.

To help you to determine the urine output of your child, you’ll discover two simple ways below to work it out.

In millilitres: Firstly, take your child’s age, add two and then multiply it by 30. The number you get should roughly be the number of millilitres of urine your child will pass.

In ounces: Again, simply take your child’s age and add two. This time, however, you don’t need to multiply as the first two steps should give you the estimated ounces of urine your child will be passing.

Types of special needs incontinence products

Just like incontinence products for adults, there are many products available for larger children, teens and youths too.

If you’re unsure of the type you need, our above information regarding urine output, alongside your child’s waist size should give you a good place to start. However, you also need to consider whether your child is active during the daytime and needs protection, or if they need longer coverage for overnight. Either way, there are several options available to you.

These include:

  • Pull ups for a child’s size that are the same as regular underwear
  • Incontinence underwear in a brief style with tabs, which lay flat with open sides to make changing easier
  • Reusable products you can use over and over that are both machine washable and even dryer friendly
  • Disposable products that can be thrown away after one use.

Alongside these products, you’ll also discover bed pads designed for bedtime, which help to cover mattresses and add that extra layer of nighttime protection.

If you have a child, teen or youth with disabilities and you’re having trouble with finding the right incontinence products, we are always here to provide advice.

Call us on 01204 895410 Monday – Friday between 9 am and 5 pm, and one of our team will be happy to help.