Wetting the bed – a sign of something more serious?

Healthy Sleep

Wetting the bed – a sign of something more serious?

What is enuresis (bedwetting)?

Though most children are toilet trained between two and four years of age, wetting the bed still occurs in about 40% of three-year-olds and 20% of five-year-olds. Even 1 percent of ten-year-olds wet the bed. Boys are much more likely to do it than girls. We also find that it runs in families.

There are two types of enuresis. There are children that only wet the bed at night. There are also kids that have accidents during the day and at night as well. Some children never have a dry night (primary enuresis) and still other kids who used to have dry nights, but begin having accidents again (secondary enuresis).

Certainly these children need to be assessed by their physician. In particular, patients that are urinating more frequently, passing large amounts of urine, experiencing burning sensations or pain when emptying, have smelly or cloudy urine or exhibit difficulty walking, should definitely be seen by their physician.

 

What causes enuresis?

Most enuresis is simply a result of delayed maturation of the brain’s control of the bladder. For these children, time and patience will lead to nighttime dryness. For other children, new stresses such as illness, bullying or other life changes can lead to bedwetting and accidents. Constipation is also a very common contributor to bedwetting.

Treatment options

There are several strategies for minimizing the problem of wetting the bed. I suggest avoiding drinking (especially caffeinated foods and beverages) two hours before bedtime. Encourage your child to go to the washroom before going to sleep. You may also consider taking your child to the bathroom before you retire for the night (i.e. a few hours after they have been in bed). Using waterproof covers on the mattress helps cleanups. There are also bedwetting alarms that can help, assuming the youngster is motivated. These alarms detect when the child begins to pee and will trigger a buzzer that alerts him or her to go to the washroom.

There are also a number of medications such as Desmopressin (DDAVP) that can help maintain dryness overnight. While I do not routinely prescribe this medicine, some children can benefit from its use for special events like camp and sleepovers.

If your child is suffering from bedwetting, rest assured that the vast majority of kids will acquire control over their bladders during the day and overnight within a few years.

You might also enjoy

5 Tips to Get Your Child’s Sleep Schedule Back on Track for School

5 Tips to Get Your Child’s Sleep Schedule Back on Track for School

5 Tips to Get Your Child’s Sleep Schedule Back on Track for School School is fast approaching once again, which means relaxed summer time schedules are coming to an end. Now is a great time to start getting your child back on a regular sleep schedule and routine so...

‘Why Cant I Sleep?’ – Electronic Devices May Be To Blame

‘Why Cant I Sleep?’ – Electronic Devices May Be To Blame

‘Why Cant I Sleep?’ – Electronic Devices May Be To Blame Routines are an excellent way to help make the transition from being awake, to falling asleep. For infants and children, a typical bedtime routine should last approximately 20-30 minutes. Don’t be afraid to...

How To Get Good Sleep Over The Holidays

How To Get Good Sleep Over The Holidays

How to Get Good Sleep Over the Holidays  With the holiday season quickly approaching, how to get good sleep can be an important factor. With all the special events and visiting that families may partake in, it's not unusual for parents to worry about how to get good...

The general information provided on the Website is for informational purposes and is not medical advice.

Do NOT use this Website for medical emergencies.

If you have a medical emergency, call a physician or qualified healthcare provider, or CALL 911 immediately. Under no circumstances should you attempt self-treatment based on anything you have seen or read on this Website. Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed and qualified health provider in your jurisdiction concerning any questions you may have regarding any information obtained from this Website and any medical condition you believe may be relevant to you or to someone else. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Success! Check Your Inbox

Success! Check Your Inbox

Success! Check Your Inbox

COVID Toolbox

Success! Check Your Inbox