Page 1 - Bedwetting
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Urological Health


        Bedwetting is common in children, most often resolving over time with the support
        and patience of parents.

            edwetting or nocturnal enuresis (nighttime            Behaviour modification
        B wetting) is a common problem in children. Up
        until the age of five years it is considered normal and   Behaviour modification encourages a child to change
        does not require investigation or treatment. Among        his or her behaviour with rewards. Your child should
        five year olds, about one in six will wet the bed.        limit fluid consumption in the evening and urinate
        Bedwetting may run in families. In almost all cases it    regularly throughout the day, including immediately
        resolves over time without treatment.                     before going to bed. It may be appropriate for a
                                                                  parent to awaken the child a few hours later to void
        Several theories have been proposed to explain            again. Dry nights should be recorded on a calendar
        bedwetting. A delay in the normal development             with stickers of the child’s choice. A treat rewarded
        of nighttime bladder control is thought to explain        for a series of consecutive dry nights will contribute to
        most cases. Rarely, bedwetting is the result of other     your child’s sense of accomplishment.
        underlying problems.
                                                                  Punishment or negative feedback for bedwetting
        Investigation                                             should be avoided as they may increase the child’s
                                                                  anxiety and often worsen the frequency of nighttime
        Your urologist will have asked you about your child’s
        toilet training, usual voiding pattern and bowel habits.
        The duration, frequency and severity of bedwetting        Bedwetting alarm
        will have been reviewed. Examination of the
        abdomen, lower back and genitals will detect any          Bedwetting alarms may be useful at helping children
                                                                  acquire nighttime control. The ideal alarm has a
        obvious anatomic abnormalities.
                                                                  sensor that clips on to the child’s pyjamas. The first
        A simple urine test will help rule out urinary infection   drop of urine detected sets off an alarm, usually
        and other abnormalities. In most cases no other           a buzzer or gentle vibration. When the alarm is
        investigations will be required. Further testing may be   triggered, the child should awaken and finish voiding
        required in children with severe daytime wetting, fecal   in the toilet. At first, the child may not awaken when
        soiling, urinary infections or physical abnormalities.    the alarm is set off. It may be best for a parent to
                                                                  sleep in the child’s room for the first few nights to help
        Treatment                                                 out.
                                                                  Many children will be conditioned to gain control
        Most children with bedwetting will eventually develop     with the use of an alarm. The alarm may not be
        complete and reliable control without treatment.          required beyond three to six months of use. If a child
        Patience and gentle encouragement will minimize the       is becoming frustrated after using the alarm for a
        anxiety that a child may feel about bedwetting.           few weeks, it may be best to take a break for a few
                                                                  months and then try it again. Bedwetting alarms can
        In some cases, treatment may be helpful to assist the
        child in gaining control. Treatment falls into one of     often be rented or purchased for about $100 through
        three forms:                                              a medical supply store.

          1.  behaviour modification,
                                                                                             Continued on next page
          2.  a bedwetting alarm, or,
          3.  medication.
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