How $10k donation will help CQ youngsters

A CQUniversity researcher has welcomed a $10,000 donation from the Rockhampton Lions Club.

Supporting her Poop-It Kit initiative, Professor Kerry-Reid Searl’s design has been made to reduce bowel issues in children.

She argues if adults can receive a bowel testing kit, Australian children should also be educated about keeping a healthy functioning bowel.

The Poop-it Kit concept uses poo-related stories, wall posters, poo-shaped cartoon characters, a Monopoly-style game, a colouring-in book, a whoopee cushion and an apron with a map of the digestive system.

Meanwhile, Rockhampton Lions Club spokesman Noel Baxter said members had conducted the annual Circus Quirkus Show, which had raised thousands of dollars over the past 20-plus years to help disadvantaged, handicapped and special-needs children.

“I and other members of Rockhampton Lions Club attended the Yeppoon Lions Convention in October last year and one of the many great guest speakers was Professor Kerry Reid-Searl,” Mr Baxter said.

“The professor spoke on Mask-Ed which is a very advanced teaching aid for nurses – and also the idea of a Poop-It Kit which enables children to understand their poo and what to look for and not be afraid of the toilet.

“She has also compiled a storybook and constructed puppets and, with the help of grants, will help educate the children of Queensland and possibly across the world.”

Mr Baxter said it was agreed that Professor Reid-Searl be invited to attend the club and present her ideas on her project.

“Members and guests from other Lions Clubs were in attendance and witnessed her enthusiasm, drive and passion on this project, so it was decided to support this very worthy cause in order to reach a greater percentage of children.” he said.

Professor Reid-Searl has been working on the Poop-it Kit with co-researchers Kate Crowley, Nicole Blunt, Carmen Barnard and Rachelle Cole (from the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Sciences).

“The key is getting kids to aspire to healthy foods, plenty of water and exercise and addressing issues that cause constipation, with the aim of promoting healthy bowel functioning,” she said.

“Children love to talk about bums and poos and farts, so this kit is just as much about getting adults comfortable talking to them about bowel health.

“Our Poop it Kit family cartoon characters will range from rabbit droppings to gravy types, with the hero as a perfect sausage shape. These have been adapted from the Bristol Stool chart.

“The kit will include a poster for the back of the toilet door and a stars-based reward system for avoiding problem poos.

“Our core message is to ‘eat your veggies and fruit as well, water to drink cause your poos can tell’.”

Professor Reid-Searl has already taken her health simulation masks and body parts and her hospital ward puppets across the globe through the Mask-Ed and Pup-Ed simulation programs.

The Lions Club donation will help supplement a small CQUniversity grant that she has to develop pilot versions of the Poop-it Kit.

Larger production runs of the kits could one day reach children through hospitals, health clinics, schools and parents.