Childhood Problems
Bed Wetting

Most children stop bedwetting at night around three years of age. When a child has a problem with bedwetting ( Enuresis) after that age, parents may become concerned.

Physicians stress that Enuresis is not a disease, but a symptom, and a fairly common one. Accidents may happen, particularly when the child is ill. Here are some facts parents should know about bedwetting:-
  • Approximately 15 percent of children wet the bed after the age of three
  • Many more boys than girls wet their beds
  • Bedwetting runs in families
  • Usually bedwetting stops by puberty
Persistent bedwetting beyond the age of three or four may be because of a kidney or bladder problem. But, in most cases that is not the reason. Bedwetting can be related to a sleep disorder. Bedwetting may also be the result of the child's tensions and emotions that require attention.

When a young child begins bedwetting after several months or years of dryness during the night, this may reflect new fears or insecurities. This may follow changes or events which make the child feel insecure; moving to a new environment, death, or the arrival of a new baby or child in the home. It could also be because the child's original toilet training was very stressful. But, it is never done on purpose. Parents should encourage the child and show faith that he or she will soon manage to stay dry at night. A pediatrician's advice is also helpful.

Parents may help children who wet the bed by:-
  • Limiting liquids before bedtime
  • Encouraging the child to go to the bathroom before bedtime
  • Praising the child on dry mornings
  • Avoiding punishments
  • Waking the child during the night to empty their bladder
In certain instances, the problem cannot be solved by the parents. The child may also show symptoms of emotional problems, such as sadness or irritability, or change in eating or sleeping habits. In such cases a therapist should evaluate emotional problems that may be causing the bedwetting, and work with the child and parents to resolve these problems. Treatment includes behavioral conditioning devices and/or medications.

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