The Poop-it Kit has been designed to inform children about bowel issues in an easy-to-digest manner through books, posters, games and other educational resources that incorporate characters based on the Bristol Stool Chart.
The Poop-it Kit has the potential to improve the overall wellbeing of children aged four to eight by addressing their bowel issues through creative and innovative characters and narratives.
Emeritus Professor Kerry Reid-Searl
What began as a concern around children's healthy bowel functions has morphed into a commercially viable kit destined to impact the wellbeing of preschool and school-age children throughout Australia.
The Poop-it Kit was designed by Emeritus Professor Kerry Reid-Searl, a CQUniversity researcher who is no stranger to leading research studies to the commercialisation stage. She is the founder of both Mask-Ed™ and Pup-Ed™ simulation programs and is the creative genius behind this latest project.
The Poop-it Kit includes a range of products that help children understand their bowel functions in an easy-to-digest way. The kit includes easy-read, humorous, animated storybooks with poo characters adapted from the Bristol Stool Chart, a wall poster, a colouring-in book, a whoopee cushion, a map of the digestive system, a Monopoly-like game and a user guide, all designed to enable children to identify the type of their stools, what they mean to the health of their digestive system, and how they can restore them to a healthy function.
With the support of Rolley Tickner and his graphic design skills and commercialisation support from CQUniversity, Professor Reid-Seal's Poop-it Kit could soon be marketed to daycare centres, schools and hospitals to help educate children and wipe away bowel issues that plague up to 30 per cent of children in Australia.
Thanks to a donation of $10 000 from the Rockhampton Lion's Club, Professor Reid-Searl has moved forward with the project and has recently undertaken a commercialisation feasibility study by Gemaker, with the kit being tested in schools and hospital settings.
The feedback has been collated and will now inform amendments to the kit before being marketed. Further research projects into the kit are also being planned.
What started as a small research project aimed at evaluating Professor Reid-Searl's Poop-it Kit with CQUniversity colleagues Kate Crowley, Carina Anderson, Nicole Blunt and Rachelle Cole, has developed quickly into a commercially viable resource that potentially will impact the lives of children all over the world.
Professor Reid-Searl says she loved being involved in unconventional research projects where the outcomes have real-world benefits.
'The aim is to get kids to aspire to eat healthy foods, drink plenty of water and exercise to promote healthy bowel functioning,' she explains.
And what better way than to get children talking about their bodily functions?
'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.'
The poo characters have been developed and refined over time and now come complete with names and personalities to appeal to children aged four to eight.
'Our 'Poop-it Kit' family of characters adapted from the Bristol Stool Chart represent the range of possible stool types, from Rabbita Dropping to Gravina Gravy with the hero being Sausagina Sausage.'
The beautifully illustrated books in the kit also contain cleverly structured narratives that use rhythmical language to appeal to a young cohort.
Professor Reid-Searl says in her previous role as a paediatric nurse, she encountered many children with constipation and other bowel problems, and parents had reported the related psychosocial issues to be significant.
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