Children at Risk
In western cultures, bowel control is established in more than 95% of children by the age of 4, and 99% of children by the age of 5. Encopresis occurs in about l% of 5-year-olds. By age 10 or 12 once-a-month soiling occurs in 1.3% of boys and .3% of girls. Although long-term studies have not yet been done, clinical experience suggests that encopresis is self-limiting, rarely occurring beyond adolescence.
It is five times more common in boys than in girls and 25% of children with this problem are also bed-wetters.