Information about bedwetting in children.
When a child wets the bed after the age of four or five, he or she might have enuresis. The child may also have daytime accidents. It may be the case that the child has never been dry, but it can also occur in children who have previously been dry for six months or more.
Children vary in the age at which they are physically ready to have complete control over their bladders. Many children are not ready for toilet training before the age of 3. Enuresis usually does not indicate an emotional or physical problem. It is more common in boys than in girls and may be due to a maturational delay in the development of bladder musculature and its ability to withstand the pressure of a large urine volume. It may also be related to toilet training that occurred too early or was too pressureful. It may also be a symptom of temporary regression, a response to a new situation, to parents who are too controlling or critical, or as a problem of adjustment. Physical causes are rare, but may include lower spinal cord lesions, congenital malformations of the genitourinary tract, infections of the urinary tract or diabetes. Risk factors are related to the causes. At age 5 about 7% of boys and 3% of girls have bedwetting problems. The percentages decrease rapidly after that. Enuresis may be hereditary.
Nowadays there are plenty of treatments for children suffering from enuresis. Parents must be helpful and supportive for some treatments to be effective. Do not shout or threathen the child as this could make the problem worse. First of all, fluid intake should be limited for up to two hours before bedtime. A device that wakes the child up as soon as it feels any moisture is available in most drug stores. Rewards, like toys or favorite foods may be given for remaining dry at night.
Having said all this, it is important to keep in mind that not all kids who wet the bed are suffering from enuresis. If it only happens a few times a year, it is nothing to worry about; accident happen. The best thing is to visit your GP who can analyse the situation.