Several commercial wiper gadgets which LPs are finding very useful are pictured
below. One advantage of these gadgets is that the toilet tissue is easy to get
on and off. Click on the photos below for descriptions and how to order. Adaptations
can be made by adding extenders (wire, metal, or plexiglass) to the front of
the folding version, if necessary, to eliminate some or most bending on the
part of the child. While such extensions make the gadget not as compact as its
original configuration, it is still portable in a backpack, briefcase, and for
The commercial toilet aides shown above (color photos) are usually available from Amazon.
A quick, easy-to-make bottom-wiper can be made out of a bent coat hanger in the "L" configuration shown above. This gadget is often a good choice for a very young child since using it does not require a lot of manual dexterity. It is also good for children with shorter arms, those in back braces, or those with extensive spinal fusions since very little bending is required. As the child gets older and larger, the "L" configuration can be made by using sturdy wire (1/8") instead of a hanger, in an appropriate length for the child's individual needs. The toilet paper is stuffed through the center of end loop and then twirled over the entire end loop; note that the end loop is not completely closed, allowing for the final securing of the paper. After use, the paper is twirled off. Getting the paper on correctly takes practice, but an older child should have no trouble with it after awhile.
A telescoping wand (pictured above) can also be used as a portable bottom-wiper -- these are sold as pointers at office supply stores. The wands come with a pen clip which can hold the toilet paper on. The paper is twirled on and twirled off. Even young children can learn to use these. The IT reacher, shown in the Dressing section, can also be used as a bottom-wiper, using the same toilet paper wrap method. Both can be used by angling the gadget between the legs while standing on the floor or platform stepstool.
The telescoping wand can be adapted even further by soldering on a curved piece of sturdy wire (pictured above) or an "alligator" clip -- both add "height" for bottom-wiper use and further cut down on the distance a child must bend over. Since the pen clip stays intact, the toilet paper can still be attached to it, even though it now must be wrapped around the added-on wire or clip too. Depending on personal balance, this version can also be used by some girls after urination while on the toilet.
Telescoping pointers are also good for pushing elevator buttons and, as one innovative family noted, to push playing pieces around a gameboard.
For young and/or smaller boys, a handheld urinal saves having to use a stepstool every time. (Send one to school for this same reason.) Holding the handle of this handheld urinal with the IT reacher eliminates most reaching problems. For little girls, the commercial gadgets pictured above are easy for even young ones to use.
To eliminate dealing with too-high sinks in school or public places, have your child use individually packaged handiwipes or a dollop of one of the hand sanitizer gels.
Copyright © 1997-2016 by Vita Gagne