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Children's experiences of school toilets present a risk to their physical and psychological health

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sue Vernon


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Objective. To ascertain why children and parents frequently describe problems with school toilets. Setting. Two contrasting cities in Northern England (Newcastle upon Tyne 394 pupils) and Southern Sweden (Goteborg/MöIndal 157 pupils) Methods. Self-administered questionnaires were given to children aged 9-11 years in England and Sweden. Researchers administered questionnaires to Head teachers and recorded their observations of facilities according to predetermined basic standards. Results. Children from both countries said they found school toilets unpleasant, dirty, smelly, and frightening and that bullying occurred there. Many children avoided using the school toilets (62% of boys and 35% of girls (in the UK site) and 28% boys and girls in Swedish site avoided using the school toilets to defaecate). Results were similar in both centres. Conclusion. European standards are needed for school toilets in order to prevent children developing problems such as constipation, urinary tract infections and incontinence.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Vernon S, Lundblad B, Hellstrom AL

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Child: Care, Health and Development

Year: 2003

Volume: 29

Issue: 1

Pages: 47-53

Print publication date: 01/01/2003

ISSN (print): 0305-1862

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2214

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing


DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2214.2003.00310.x

PubMed id: 12534566


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