Achieving bowel and bladder control is one of the developmental tasks of childhood, but the process doesn’t always go smoothly. That can be frustrating for both parents and kids.
UCSF’s Pediatric Urology Parent Seminar, or PUPS, is a 90-minute presentation geared to parents of school-aged youngsters who suffer from daytime or nighttime wetting, urinary frequency or infrequency, constipation, or urinary tract infections. It is designed to give parents the tools they need to understand and address these common problems.
Anne Arnhymand Angelique Champeau, the certified pediatric nurse practitioners who run PUPS, provide an overview of why children may be having issues and how they are typically managed with bowel and bladder retraining.
The seminar was started eight years ago by Angelique Champeau. Since that time, thousands of parents have participated in the program, which is offered at both UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. In the seminars, parents learn the basics of normal bowel and bladder function in kids and things that commonly go wrong.
Constipation contributes to urinary problems
Most parents are surprised to find that stool retention (also known as constipation) is a primary cause of urinary problems in children. Unlike adults, diet or inadequate fluid intake is not typically the cause of constipation. Instead, kids often retain stool from postponing use of the bathroom. This problem often goes unnoticed because most constipated children still stool regularly. A back-up of stool may impact bladder function, causing urinary tract infections, urgency, frequency and incontinence.
The seminar is designed to educate parents in a way that is not possible in the time allotted for a clinic visit. “It’s an efficient way to give parents the information they need to treat bowel and bladder problems, “ said Arnhym. Parents are guaranteed a clinic appointment within three weeks of attending the seminar. Some parents schedule visits as soon as possible; others choose to work on things at home before bringing their child into the clinic.
The team has found that children require fewer clinic visits to resolve a problem since the PUPS program began. Compliance with staff recommendations is better because parents understand the issues underlying bladder and bowel function. Unless a more unusual problem is suspected, such as neurogenic bladder or congenital urologic conditions, more invasive urodynamic studies are generally not needed.
This program really captures the heart of the nursing philosophy towards health, said Champeau. “First you do patient education, then you order further treatment if needed.”
To make a reservation for the next PUPS program at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, please contact Erica Martinez at 415.353.2083 or 415.353.2200.
For UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland please call 510.428.3402