December 2006

A unique new product aims to revolutionise potty training for infants from 18 months upwards. 'Max' helps promote independence and bathroom hygiene and reduce the need for ecologically damaging and costly disposable nappies.

Max from On Target Infant Training is a golfball-sized weighted recyclable plastic ball featuring a smiley cartoon face.   When placed in the toilet, Max bobs around and the child is encouraged to pee at the ball.  This provides a point of focus and interest for boys and girls and a fun incentive to use the bathroom and accelerate toilet training. 

Each ball contains Hygienilac, an antibacterial product which kills bacteria on contact, so maintaining a hygienic toilet bowl after flushing.  Hygienilac is not a surface cleaner, it is actually incorporated into the product and goes on working for as long as the product is intact.  It is effective against numerous bacteria including MRSA, salmonella, e-coli, c-difficile and listeria. Because most households use a bleach cleaner in the toilet, which over time damages the Hygienilac action, the makers recommend changing the ball after four weeks.

Says Max's creator Chris Lomas: "Potty training is every parent's nightmare.  Often taking weeks or even months, our research has found that in our busy 21st century lifestyle potty training has been progressively delayed.  Thirty years ago infants were potty trained at around 18 months; now it often takes two or three years.  With my second child, Max, I tried out the invention and Max literally toilet trained overnight.  In honour of this achievement we named the product after him."

"Apart from the convenience and the boost in self confidence for the child, there is a strong environmental argument for early potty training.  We throw away over eight million disposable nappies in the UK every day and nappy waste accounts for more than 4% of all household waste.  What's even more worrying is that it takes the average nappy up to 500 years to decompose - that's around 16 generations!  Some people try to use terry's, but they have their environmental downside too in terms of the soaking and washing that's necessary.  Max also helps children of all ages to keep on target and we've already had interest from schools."

The recommended retail price for a pack of four balls is £6.49, which offers a four month potty training regime - that's under £2 a month.  The product will be available from the end of January in over 700 Superdrug stores around the country, with additional high street stores expected to follow as well as through and other on line retailers.  See the website for more detail on stockists.  Tel: 08454 160528.

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