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What You Need To Know
About Your Childís Bedwetting
Many children wet the bed until they are 5 years old, or even older. In most cases, the cause is physical and not the childís fault. The childís bladder might be too small. Or the amount of urine produced overnight is too much for the bladder to hold. As a result, the bladder fills up before the night is over. Some children sleep too deeply or take longer to learn bladder control. Children donít wet the bed on purpose. Bedwetting is a medical problem, not a behavior problem. Scolding and punishment will not help a child stay dry.
Bedwetting may run in the family. If both parents wet the bed as children, their child is likely to have the same problem. If only one parent has a history of bedwetting, the child has about a fifty-fifty chance of having the problem. Some children wet the bed even if neither parent ever did.
Bedwetting may be caused by an infection or a nerve disease. Children with nerve disease often also have daytime wetting.
A child who has been dry for several months or even years may return to wetting the bed. The cause might be emotional stress, such as loss of a loved one, problems at school, a new sibling, or even training too early.
How can I help my child stay dry?
The answer is rarely easy. Try skipping drinks before bedtime. Avoid drinks with caffeine, like colas or tea. These drinks speed up urine production. Give your child one drink with dinner. Explain that it will be the last drink before going to bed. Make sure your child uses the bathroom just before bed. Many children will still wet the bed, but these steps are a place to start.
Your child may feel bad about wetting the bed. Let your child know he isnít to blame. Let her help take off the wet sheets and put them in the washer, but donít make this a punishment. Be supportive. Praise your child for dry nights.
Be patient. Most children grow out of bedwetting. Some children just take more time than others.
Should I take my child to the doctor?
If your child is younger than 5, donít worry about bedwetting. Many children do not stay dry at night until age 7. Most children outgrow wetting the bed. A single episode of bedwetting should not cause alarm, even in an older child.
If your child is 7 years old or older and wets the bed more than two or three times in a week, a doctor may be able to help. If both day and night wetting occur after age 5, your child should see a doctor before age 7.
The doctor will ask questions about your childís health and the wetting problem. Your child will likely be asked for a urine sample. The doctor uses the sample to look for signs of infection. By testing the reflexes in the childís legs and feet, the doctor can check for nerve damage. Sometimes bedwetting is a sign of diabetes, a condition that can cause frequent urination.
If your child has an infection, the doctor can prescribe medicine. In most cases, the doctor finds that the child is normal and healthy. If your child is basically healthy, a variety of ways are available to help your child stop wetting the bed.
What treatments can help my child stay dry?
Talk with your doctor about ways to help your child. Many choices exist. Let your child help decide which ones to try.
Points to Remember:
Live And Learn - giving children a head start on tomorrow!