Incontinence is the key symptom of most pathological conditions of the lower urinary tract and bowel of children. While the involuntary loss of urine is a burden for the child and the reason that the child is brought to the doctor, the incontinence may be an indicator of an even more serious disorder with difficulty, for some reason, to empty the bladder. While incontinence may make the child’s life a misery, it is not in itself a threat to life. A bladder emptying that is not complete, on the other hand, may in the long run give rise to kidney damage and severe impairment of the child’s general health and life expectations. For the adult population, this important area in medicine has been thoroughly covered by the International Continence Society, ICS, for many years. In contrast to most medical societies, ICS is not the forum for a certain speciality such as urology or nephrology; instead, ICS is a problem oriented association gathering persons of different professions interested in normal and disordered function of the lower urinary tract.
ICCS, International Children’s Continence Society, has been cast in the same mould as the ICS, gratefully acknowledging the pioneer work done by the older organization. Now the time has come for children to benefit from the joint efforts of general pediatricians, pediatric urologists, pediatric nephrologists, child psychiatrists, general practitioners, nurses, urotherapists, physiotherapists, medical technicians and physicists, basic research workers, and all others active in the field of pediatric continence disorders.
More specifically, ICCS wants to:
- Standardise the terminology used for lower urinary tract dysfunction in children, recognising that no meaningful dialogue is possible as long as terms are not used in a consistent manner.
- Initiate and stimulate research in normal and disordered functions of the lower urinary tract in the growing infant and child.
- Initiate and stimulate the development of new diagnostic methods and re-evaluation of older ones, to further the understanding of the function and dysfunction of the child’s lower urinary tract.
- Initiate and stimulate research on new therapies with a potential to improve or cure the many conditions under the ICCS umbrella.
- Act as a catalyst for the above processes through regular meetings where proponents for new as well as old ideas meet for open discussions for the benefit of both parties.
- Continuously distribute information about its activities and progress via all available media channels to professionals but also, and this is important, to afflicted children and their parents, injecting some amount of hope for a better life for children burdened by incontinence.
- ICCS recognises that a substantial proportion of children also have problems with anal incontinence and constipation. Therefore, the Society intends to include anorectal dysfunction among its preferential research areas.