Compulsive flushing and the flushing of foreign objects are common problems that many parents of toddlers and young children have faced. Whether it's a flushing obsession that wastes hundreds of gallons of water each day OR a toilet curiosity that leads many children to flush toys, towels or clothing down the drain, unwanted flushing is an expensive habit that millions of parents have struggled with since the advent of indoor plumbing. And, for just as long as these bad habits have persisted, parents have been coming up with solutions to prevent them. Some have staying power, and some are borne of pure desperation. Here are five of the most common solutions that we have come across. What works for you and your family?
1) Locking The Bathroom Door
This is the instinctual reaction to seeing an overflowing toilet spewing water, lego shards and a few unmentionables onto the bathroom floor after half the toy bin has been flushed down the drain. Of course, if the children need to learn how to use the potty responsibly and independently (or if there are older children in the house who need to use the bathroom, too), then it is not a long-term solution.
2) Installing a Lid Lock
A Lid Lock clamps down on the toilet lid, securing it closed and preventing children from using the potty. It's a great measure to take to keep babies from leaning into the toilet or to stop children from using the toilet as a mixing cauldron. However, the lid lock also prevents children from using the toilet to go to the bathroom, so it is best used as a method of prevention during the pre-potty-training years. And, it isn't a solution to prevent the act of flushing, itself.
3) Disabling The Flusher
We have heard stories from many parents who have called the plumber one too many times and finally decided to eliminate all flushing from the house, period. They went into the tank and disabled the flushing mechanism from the inside, thus preventing their children from flushing the toilet at all until the mechanism is reconnected. This is definitely an extreme response, but it gives you a sense of just how maddening compulsive flushing behavior can be!
4) Using FlushStop, The Toilet Lever Lock
After the invention of FlushStop, it won't be necessary to disable the toilet flusher from the inside. We have created a much simpler and targeted solution. FlushStop is designed specifically to prevent repetitive, curious or mischievous flushing behavior. It affixes to the outside of the toilet and childproofs the toilet lever, thus granting full control of the pipes to the adults in the room. What makes FlushStop especially unique is that it's the only device that prevents plumbing disasters while keeping the toilet OPEN for independent potty use.
5) Teaching Appropriate Flushing Behavior
Some kids don't need more than one lesson on appropriate flushing, and others are just more fascinated by the movement and the sound of the toilet lever. If you feel like you're teaching appropriate flushing behavior in vain, just stay strong. It will sink in, we promise! It's helpful to have a preventative tool in place (such as a FlushStop or a Lid Lock) to discourage inappropriate flushing while you're teaching them. Because...kids. But, you will find that after a few months, they'll begin to respond to your message to stop flushing so often. If your child is a compulsive flusher, then it is even more important to have a tool in place to stop their attempts to flush so often and to reinforce what you're teaching them.
As parents who had to augur a washcloth out of the toilet when our son was a toddler, we totally understand what you're going through. And, we're here to help.