October 20, 2015
ARTICLE:

Bed Wetting

By Chris Toumpas

BedWetting-846x528

Bed wetting is very common, about 5% of children aged nine to ten still wet the bed. It is common in many families, but it can cause significant distress and anxiety for the whole household! It can also lead to avoidance of social activities such as sleepovers or school camps.

Bed wetting is not anybody’s fault, it is not caused by laziness or bad behaviour. It is caused by the inability to waken from sleep by a full bladder. The kidneys produce a large amount of urine at night and the bladder can become overactive and not store the urine. Children may not wake from a deeper sleep, which is why it may occur more commonly in the comfort of a familiar environment at home.

It is important to see a doctor if a child was dry, but suddenly starts bed wetting at night, if bed wetting is frequent at school age, if the bed wetting is distressing to children or if he or she wants to become dry. It is also important to see a doctor if there are any other symptoms (e.g. constipation). A doctor will look for any physical causes. If there are no causes, it might be best to wait if your child is under the age of seven and is not bothered by the bed wetting.

What is the best treatment for bed wetting? Night alarms can help by increasing awareness of the feeling of having a full bladder. Underpants are required instead of pull ups in order for the alarm to work. Alarms may be required for three to four months. Alarms can help over 80% of children become dry. Most children will stay dry and there is a lower relapse rate compared to medication. It is not a good idea to make children clean up after themselves as this can be seen as punishment for something that is out of your child’s control.

Medications can be effective in certain cases. They reduce the activity of the bladder or to reduce the amount of urine the kidneys produce. Medications alone to not cure bed wetting, but they may reduce the anxiety around sleepovers and school camps.

Restricting fluids at night is not an effective way to treat bed wetting. However, reducing caffeinated drinks before bedtime can help.

Read more about Bed Wetting – Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne.

Have you used our service? We are always looking for ways to improve so please take the time to complete our survey.

 

Breast or Formula… What is ...
Choosing whether to breast or formula feed your bub is one of hardest decisions to make as a new or expecting parent.
How to make a healthy lunchbox
Whether you’re making your own lunchbox, or you’re making one for the youngest members of your household, it should be a snapshot of a normal day of healthy eating.
Working with children with ...
Where do you start when, as a parent, you’re worried about your child?
What can I do with my child’s ...
What is hay fever? Hay fever (allergic rhinitis) is caused by allergy to environmental inhalants like pollens (grasses or trees), dust mite, animal ...
How is ADHD diagnosed?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common reasons for referral to a paediatrician. Sometimes parents are worried, ...
Is your child ready to start ...
Is your child is halfway through their kinder year and you're not sure if things are okay with their development or behaviour? Have you been ...
How is ASD diagnosed?
Autism and Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are now on everyone's radar thanks to increasing awareness and understanding that early intervention ...
What does a developmental ...
Have you ever wondered why your child does things that just don’t seem right or exhibits behaviour that you haven’t observed in other ...
What's the difference between a ...
General paediatricians can treat (or are involved in the care of) most medical and developmental problems in children; it's a skillset in itself ...
Gifted Children and Behavioural ...
Why gifted children develop behavioural problems I have had a little run of seeing kids in clinic of late who have been particularly gifted.  It ...
Headaches and Migraines in ...
Headaches are really common in children and we see this problem frequently as general paediatricians. Of the children who get referred to us, over 90% ...
Intellectual Disability (Or ...
So having blogged for the last few weeks on creepy-crawly, icky, infectious things you can catch, today for a change I thought I’d do a ...
Cold Sores and Herpes Simplex ...
A good friend of mine has had a little one who recently had a terrible experience with her first infection with the cold sore virus, so I ...
Easter holiday programs
Easter holiday programs. Holiday workshops are a great way to break up seemingly endless days at home, while at the same time providing a fantastic ...
Tummy Pain in children
Nothing worse for a parent than knowing your child is in pain or ill and not knowing what to do about it or whether to worry.  Tummy pain is a very ...
Scabies
So after my brilliant (*ahem*)  school-kid infection-trifecta (school sores, head lice and threadworms), I decided that no blog collection about ...
HEAD LICE (AND NITS)
So was contemplating what health topic I might blog about today and was scrolling back through past posts. My thought process was, “Ooooh!! I ...
THREADWORMS (PINWORMS)
So today I am going to blog about something easy and fast!  I was planning on posts on “Fostering resilience in kids” and “Anxiety” but ...
Autistic Spectrum Disorder – ...
Hi there everyone, Here is the long anticipated “Part 2” to our enthralling article on Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Had an absolutely epic ...
Autistic Spectrum Disorder – ...
So it’s a big couple of weeks for parents and kids hasn’t it?  School has gone back for the year and things are returning to normal after what ...