Young children are often afraid to use a latrine. They may be unable to open the door, afraid of the dark or the pit. However, even young children should learn the importance of using either a potty that can be emptied into the latrine or a child’s latrine. Teach young children how to wipe or wash themselves after passing faeces. Girls should be taught to always wipe from front to back to prevent infections.
Many people believe wrongly that the faeces of babies and young children are less harmful than those of adults. In fact they contain many more microbes. Young children often carry many worms in their stomachs and their faeces will often contain worm eggs.
Simple latrines near the home can be made for young children. These should have a shallow pit – about 0.5 metres deep. Cover this with a small slab with a cover for the hole. No walls are needed. Encourage young children to always use this and to replace the cover each time. Add some ashes or soil regularly to control the smell. Move the slab to a new hole once it is nearly full and fill in the used hole with soil. A tree could be planted in the hole!