Award-winning New Zealand actress Dame Kate Harcourt spent time on Wednesday morning at Island Bay School in Wellington reading books for the New Zealand Continence Association.
“A Wee Secret” and “Poo-Hoo”, written by child continence nurse Jacqueline Brown, are being promoted this week by the NZCA.
The cartoon style storybooks including a parent information section were created to help children realise they are not alone when dealing with incontinence and to offer parents and teachers guidance to addressing such problems.
Former Wellingtonian of the Year, Dame Kate lent a hand to the NZCA and went to Island Bay School to raise awareness of the books and child continence problems.
“The children thoroughly enjoyed the stories, they thought the titles were funny and wanted to keep them in their classroom.
“The Principal was there and took them for the school library. She was delighted with them and said that on every school trip she took there were one or two bed-wetters who needed comfort and reassurance,” Dame Kate said.
Dame Kate thought the books a good initiative and hopes that they are promoted to parents.
“I hope there is some way to let the parents know of the existence of these books. There is so much valuable information in them,” she said.
The year three children enjoyed hearing Dame Kate read the books to them and learnt more about continence problems.
"I learnt that if you did need to go to the toilet and you started peeing your pants, you could actually ask for help instead of ignoring it. It'll just get worse if you ignore it,” said one class member.
Comments from the children indicated acceptance and understanding of incontinence after hearing the books.
"Don't feel embarrassed if you're always peeing your pants because it's not your fault that you're doing it," said another class member.
The reading morning was arranged to run during NZCA’s national annual awareness week, a part of World Continence Week, which begun on Sunday and finishes on Saturday.
The awareness week is promoting “good bowel and bladder habits for everyone” with a focus on primary aged children.