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Blanket on top of a bed

Toileting Issues/ Bed Wetting

Most children begin to stay dry at night around three years of age. If bedwetting persists beyond this point, parents may become concerned. Always seek the advice of your pediatrician when you have questions about your child’s death.

What parents should know:

  • Bedwetting is more common than you may think. Between 15% and 30% of school-age children wet the bed at least once per month.
  • Bedwetting runs in families. Many children who wet the bed have parents or grandparents who did as well.
  • More boys than girls wet their beds.
  • Usually bedwetting stops by puberty.
  • Most bedwetters do not have emotional problems. However, if this is a problem that started after a particularly stressful event such as a divorce, death of a loved one, natural disaster, etc. You may need to seek the advice of your pediatrician about obtaining counseling services for your child.
  • Children who wet the bed usually feel ashamed about the incident.
  • Bedwetting may be due to immature bladder control.
  • Oftentimes bedwetters are very deep sleepers who do not wake up when their bladder is full.

What should a parent do?

  • Ask your pediatrician about medications available to help with bedwetting.
  • Many pediatricians recommend a urine alarm which is worn on the nightclothes or attached to the sheet. The alarm activates when it’s moistened, prompting the child to use the bathroom. It must be used for an average of three months and is usually recommended for children over the age of 6.
  • Limit the intake of caffeinated beverages in the evening hours.
  • Wake your child 1-2 hours after he goes to bed to use the toilet.
  • Use plastic to protect the mattress so the child’s room does not smell of urine.
  • Never allow siblings to tease.
  • Reassure your child that they are not alone. Explain to them that because this is a subject not usually discussed between friends, they may not realize that several of their classmates may have the same problem.
  • Give your child plenty of love and support. Bedwetting can be very stressful and embarrassing for your child. It is important that parents do not shame or punish a child for having accidents.
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