Nurse researcher develops poop kits for kids

Professor Kerry Reid-Searl

One of Australia’s most unconventional nurse researchers is developing a ‘Poop-it’ educational kit for children.

The Poop-it Kit will contain poo-related stories, wall posters, poo-shaped cartoon characters, a Monopoly-style game, a colouring-in book, a whoopee cushion and an apron with a map of the digestive system.

Professor Kerry Reid-Searl of CQUniversity Australia’s School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Sciences said she wanted to help wipe away many of the bowel issues, such as constipation, that plagued up to 30% of children.

“If adults can receive a bowel-testing kit, why can’t Aussie kids have a junior version which can help to address bowel issues by showing what a ‘perfect sausage poo’ looks like?

“The key is getting kids to aspire to healthy foods, plenty of water and exercise to promote healthy bowel functioning.

“Our core message is to ‘eat your veggies and fruit as well, water to drink cause your poos can tell’.”

As a former paediatric nurse, Professor Reid-Searl said she encountered many children with constipation and other bowel problems, and parents had reported that the related psychological issues were significant.

“Children love to talk about bums and poos and farts, so this kit is just as much about getting adults comfortable talking to them about bowel health.”

Professor Reid-Searl has been awarded a small grant to develop pilot versions of the ‘Poop-it Kit’.

Our Poop-it Kit family cartoon characters will range from rabbit droppings to gravy types, with the hero a perfect sausage shape. They have been adapted from the Bristol Stool chart.

 “The kit will include a poster for the back of the toilet door and a stars-based reward system for avoiding problem poos,” Professor Reid-Searl said.

Professor Reid-Searl has already taken her health simulation masks and body parts and her hospital ward puppets across the globe through the Mask-Ed and Pup-Ed simulation programs.

Undergraduate nursing students will help introduce the Poop-it Kit to children using Pup-Ed characters.

Larger production runs of the kits could one day reach children through hospitals, health clinics, schools and parents.

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