How to Prevent Your Child From Flushing Things Down the Toilet


One of the worst things to have in a home is a septic system or a drain that’s no longer properly functioning because of a clog. This is both unsanitary and bothersome for everyone in the house. More often than not, the culprit behind clogged pipes are children who keep flushing the “unflushables” down the toilet.

Kids can’t help but be curious at times so they flush things down the drain – even those that shouldn’t be there. From toys to solid food, kids can get rowdy inside the bathroom. As per a report on the New York Times, even the tiniest of objects can lead to serious waterways issues. You see, it’s not just your home that could get affected.

Even small objects such as contact lenses can serve as contaminants to waterways. This isn’t a lifelong issue as your child will eventually grow out of their habit. However, if you don’t stop it, it could result in lingering pipe issues.

Preventing your child from flushing random objects down the drain is hard especially considering how innately curious they are. However, it’s something that you really need to work on if you want to keep your pipes and the city’s sewers free from contaminants. Here’s what you can do to help them get rid of this habit.

Don’t Let Them Bring Food Inside The Bathroom

You should never let your child bring food into the bathroom for many reasons. For starters, this is an unsanitary habit which could lead to him or her getting sick. Daily remind him that food should not go beyond the bathroom doors. In fact, try to teach them not to move around when eating something so as they could not make a mess.

Another reason why they shouldn’t bring food inside the bathroom is that they could accidentally drop it in the toilet. Flushing food down the toilet could be detrimental to your septic tanks if you have any. Of course, it’s also going to be a major issue for your pipes if large pieces of food go down the drain.

While food wastes are dissolved inside the septic system, large chunks of food might get stuck in the pipes, making it hard for the water to go down the drain. Moreover, if your child is eating something oily, it could result in quick scum build up in your septic tank. Scum cannot be percolated through the drainfield so it remains inside the tank, which causes it to be full a lot quicker.

Make A List

There are many things that a child shouldn’t flush down the drain. Solid food, dental floss, pieces of plastics, and many more. As the list goes on and one, it’s better to just tell them what they should flush down the drain. Make them a little reminder you can put at the door so that they can see it every time they go to the bathroom.

Write it down on a piece of paper and hang it around an area that they will easily see when going to the bathroom. This gentle reminder will serve as a great means to condition your child into knowing what should be flushed down the toilet. Eventually, they’ll come to understand what they should and shouldn’t do in terms of bathroom etiquette.

You can add some artistic flair to the list so that it looks more appealing and friendly to your child. Ideally, you’d want something that can catch their attention immediately. Keep in mind that children can get distracted easily so the sign needs to be as eye catching as possible if it has to remind them of something.

Buy A Toilet Lock

A toilet lock is something you put in the lid so that your child can’t open the bowl without permission. This is reserved for cases where your child can’t really help but flush things down the toilet. The toilet lock usually costs around $10 online and in brick and mortar stores.

If and when your child wants to go to the bathroom, have them ask permission from you first so that you can remove the toilet lock for them. Kids who are at a very young age might be harder to teach than others so this method is also reserved for them up until they grow out of the habit.

Make Learning Fun

The best way to ensure that your kids are learning properly is by making the process enjoyable for them. Instead of simply telling them what not and what to do inside the bathroom, try a different approach. For instance, use illustrations to tell them what kind of stuff belongs in the toilet when flushing.

This kind of engagement will make it easier for the child to understand the dos and don’ts of bathroom etiquette. If you can make a jingle out of the stuff they shouldn’t flush down, that would be advisable. This will make them remember more properly and it will also be easier for them to enjoy this lesson.

Be Patient

The last thing you want to be when teaching your child new habits is impatient. Children learn through nurturing tactics. It’s wrong to force them into learning a new habit as you could end up leaving a bad impression on them. If you continue to teach them with the same love and care that you give them on a regular day, they’ll eventually learn through time.

Parenting has always been about being patient with your child. They are at a stage in their life where they want to try new things regardless of how weird it may be. As they are still exploring the world through experimentation, it’s your duty to properly teach them what’s right and what’s wrong, even when it comes to habits inside the bathroom.

The toilet is an important part of the house that needs a lot of your attention. Having it take objects that are not supposed to be there will lead to major complications. If your child is doing a lot of damage by flushing things that aren’t supposed to be in there, follow our tips above and act fast before major issues happen.


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