On May 8, 1998, a multidisciplinary panel of pediatric experts met in Chicago, Illinois, to discuss and develop guidelines on toilet training practices, which are needed to standardize and support toilet training efforts for clinicians, parents, and other groups of child care providers. During the roundtable meeting, matters on specific issues on toilet training were discussed in detail, including problems with premature or poorly managed training; child development and signs of readiness; children with special needs; and healthcare professionals' roles in supporting, educating, and encouraging parents throughout the process. This supplement is intended to serve as a forum for pinpointing and addressing key concerns in toilet training and introducing expert guidance.
The first of three articles appearing in this supplement focuses on bowel control and urologic conditions relating to problems in toilet training. More specifically, this article addresses bowel and bladder maturation, enuresis and encopresis, and the impact that these conditions have on a child's behavior and development. The second article compares theory versus practice, signifying how the theoretical framework of toilet training has shaped current clinical practices. Also discussed is readiness in terms of the child and parents, identifying and responding to a child's cues indicating aptness to begin training, and the preparation required for initiating the process. The third and final article focuses on prevention and intervention of toileting problems from a clinical standpoint, and offers the health care provider a variety of suggestions on how to advise and support parents in need of guidance. The guidelines for clinicians, parents, and day care providers, developed by the panel experts, also appear in this article.