Q] What is the Bedwetting?
A] Bedwetting is not a disease. Generally children become dry by night by around three years of age. However some children may continue to wet the bed till 5-6 years of age. If a child continues to pass urine in bed at night or has still not achieved bladder control by then it is called as nocturnal enuresis or bedwetting.
Q] What are the more common causes of bedwetting in children?
A] Not necessary all bed-wetters have emotional problems. Sometimes bedwetting runs in families. Children when ill may wet the bed. Bedwetting may occur due to small capacity of the bladder or an irritable bladder. In rare cases a kidney or bladder problem may be present. Sometimes it may be related to a sleep disorder. In some cases a child due to emotional or stress problem may do it get attention.
Q] How should parents tackle this problem?
A] The parents should consult their family physician or pediatrician to rule out a kidney or bladder problem. Liquids should be limited at bedtime and no liquids should be given at least 2 hours prior to going to sleep. Encourage the child to go to bathroom before sleeping and at mid night too, Exercises to increase bladder capacity should be encouraged. During the daytime, whenever the child wants to pass urine, ask him/her to hold on for as long as they can. If it can hold on for more than 10 -30 minutes at a time, reward it so that it gets an incentive to try harder. Also, reward for a wet free night so that they get the incentive. Donít give punishment. If after all these maneuvers, the child still bed wets, then bedwetting alarm can be tried. This is an electronic device which sends of an alarm when the bed becomes wet. This wakes up the child and since this stimulus is not pleasing, it conditions the child not to pass urine in the bed. Occasionally medications to control bedwetting may be required. However they are not to be used for a long time and have many side effects thus should only be used under a doctorís prescription.