Bedwetting in Children
When is bedwetting a problem?
Most children have developed control of their bladder by the age of 5 years. However, boys do tend to develop proper bladder control and maintain dryness at night later than girls. Bedwetting at ages 6 – 7 years becomes problematic because the child is in school and may experience social problems.1,2
Will the problem resolve naturally?
- 15% of children will stop bedwetting without treatment
- If severe bedwetting is not treated, it can continue into adolescence and adulthood
- Bedwetting occurs in 2 – 3 % of adults4,5
BEDWETTING CAN BE TREATED SUCCESSFULLY!
What causes bedwetting?
Life stressors have been linked to bedwetting; however, most children with this problem have no history of any major life events.3,4
The most common causes of bedwetting are due to one or more of the following:
- Overproduction of urine at night (the most common problem)
- Reduced capacity of the bladder to store urine at night or over-activity of the bladder
- Inability to wake in response to full bladder sensation
How common is bedwetting?
Effects of bedwetting on a child
- Low self-esteem
- Social withdrawal
- Fear of sleeping over at friends’ houses
- Sleep disturbances4,5
What can I do to help my child?
- Reassure your child that this is a common problem and is not his/her fault
- Effective treatment is available. Contact your doctor for advice
- Encourage your child to go to the toilet frequently during the day, especially just before bedtime and on awakening
- Reduce the amount of fluid consumed in the evening
- Encourage physical activity6
1. van Dyk JC, et al. South African guidelines for the management of nocturnal enuresis. SAMJ 2003;93(5):338-340. 2. Hjalmas K, et al. Nocturnal Enuresis: An International Evidence Based Management Strategy. J of Urology 2004;171:2545-2561. 3. Kiddoo DA. Nocturnal enuresis. CMAJ 2012;184(8):908-911. 4. van Kerrebroeck P, Nørgaard JP. Desmopressin for the treatment of primary nocturnal enuresis. Pediatric Health 2009;3(4):311-327. 5. Vande Walle J, et al. Practical consensus guidelines for the management ofenuresis. Eur J Pediatr 2012:1-13. 6. Neveus T, et al. Evaluation of and Treatment for Monosymptomatic Enuresis: A Standardization Document From the International Children’s Continence Society. J of Urology 2010;183: 441-447.