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  • Janette O'toole

Bedwetting- tips to help

Bedwetting is a problem for many school-age children and their families. The good news is that for many children the problem will resolve itself over time, or can be helped with treatment.

There are several reasons that kids may wet the bed at night. These include:

- sleeping deeply. Some children may have difficulty waking at night to use the bathroom. These children often will not remember waking up during the night.

- children with an overactive bladder. This is a bladder which has difficulty storing a normal amount of urine. Therefore they may also have some day times symptoms and may need to rush to the toilet or have damp knickers during the day. They also may leak more than once at night.

- Producing a lot of urine at night. This can be caused by low levels of antidiuretic hormone (ADH) which concentrates the urine while we are sleeping.

Tips to help

1. Children should be encouraged to drink throughout the day. They should be aim to have 5 small drinks per day (at breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and at dinner).

2. Ask them to go to the toilet just before sleep. That mean that if they have lots of story time, they should be encouraged go to the toilet after this.

3. Prevent constipation. Children should not need to strain to empty their bowels and their stool should be soft and formed. Hard stool will put more pressure on the bladder. If their stool is hard, try to encourage them to eat more fruit and vegetables. If they are fussy eaters try hiding vegetable in some of their favourite foods e.g. try grating carrot and zuchinni into spaghetti bolognaise.

When to seek help

· If your child is regularly wetting the bed when they are 6 or over

· If your child is suddenly wetting the bed again after being dry

· Is bothered or upset because of bedwetting

Children who wet the bed are not lazy or naughty. Help is available. Most children who wet the bed do not have any major health problems.

Different treatments are available. This may include a bed wetting alarm, TENS machine or medication.

Many children do stop wetting the bed in their own time without help. However if your child is regularly wetting the bed and is aged 8 or above, the problem is less likely to get better without help.

If your child is having issues with bedwetting, we would recommend you could see a pelvic health physiotherapist. This is a physiotherapist who has undertaken specialised training in this area and who can give you and your child specific guidance.


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