This research brief examines how children's feces are disposed of, a neglected area of research, policy, and program intervention, and there is very little evidence of effective strategies for increasing the safe disposal of children's feces.
- In most countries analyzed, over 50 percent of households with children under age three reported that the feces of their children were unsafely disposed.
- Even among households with improved toilets or latrines, some unsafe child feces disposal behavior was reported.
- In almost every country, feces of children under age three are less likely to be safely disposed of than those of the general population.
- Higher rates of unsafe child feces disposal were found in poor, rural households with the youngest children and where other household members defecate in the open.
- Although there is a common belief that children's feces are not harmful, exposure to children's feces could be more risky than exposure to adults' feces.