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Children Bed Wetting

Children bed wetting is the involuntary passage of urine during childhood. The term enuresis is also called as bed wetting and since bed wetting takes place mostly in the night it is also called as Nocturnal Enuresis. Bed wetting is very common in children under the age of 6 to 7 years. About 15 to 20 % of children in the age group of 5 to 6 years may wet their beds, most of them being boys. Bed wetting in older children in the age group of 14 years is 2 to 3 % and above 15 years and above it is 1 %.

kids bed wetting is thus more common in boys than girls. Bed wetting may be primary if the child wets the bed occasionally and secondary if the child wets the bed after being dry for considerable period of time.

Causes of Bed wetting in Children

  1. Child Bedwetting runs in the family. If both the parents were enuretic then the chances of bed wetting in children increases say 70% and 40% if one of the parents is enuretic.
  2. Stress and anxieties like problems in school, divorced parents can increase the incidence of bed wetting.
  3. Some children may be heavy sleepers and hence may not wake up when the bladder is full.
  4. Certain medical problems like cystitis, diabetes and abnormalities of the urinary tact can lead to bed wetting.
  5. Antidiuretic hormone, a hormone that has the ability to control the production of urine tends to increase in the night. But in certain children the production of this hormone may be less, leading bed wetting.
  6. Dietary factors can also increase the incidence of bed wetting.

It is very essential for the parents to understand the cause of bed wetting in children so that this problem can be solved as soon as possible.

Remedies for Bed wetting in children

  1. Bedwetting alarms are available that produce a ringing and buzzing sound as the child starts wetting the bed. These alarms are designed to ring as the first drop of the urine falls on the underwear or sheets. This will help the child to know when to empty his or her bladder. If this is regularized, then the incidence of bed wetting can get reduced.
  2. Do not make an issue of the bed wetting problem of the child in the family. Support the child and present a positive attitude. Do not scold the child or be angry with them as this can make them feel frightened and have a notion that something is wrong with them. If someone in the family had the same problem then let him talk to the child so that he can learn how to cope with the problem.
  3. The child should not drink water or any form of liquids two hours before going to bed. This can be helpful in reducing the incidence of children bedwetting.
  4. Make it a point for the child to go to the toilet before going to sleep.
  5. Praise the child if he or she does not wet in the night. This can encourage the child in controlling the bladder. Note down the dry nights with a star and appreciate the child.
  6. Parents should wake up the child in the middle of the night so that he can go to the toilet. This will help the child in setting a timetable for going to the toilet. Thus the parents need to be vigilant and alert in reducing the child’s bed wetting.
  7. Use water proof bed sheets and water proof mattresses. Place a night pant and extra sheet so that the child can change his pant if he wets in the middle of the night.

Other suggestions for Bed wetting in children
Regardless of the remedies taken, it takes days or even weeks to show any improvement. Hence, it is necessary for parents to be very patient. If none of the remedies work well, do not panic. A doctor’s help will be needed. Do not feel embarrassed and talk openly about your problem of child bed wetting. Most children stop bed wetting eventually.

Submitted on October 27, 2008