Bed Wetting – FAQ’s
Is bed wetting common?
Bed wetting is the uncontrolled passing of urine. The most common form of bed wetting among children is nocturnal enuresis which occurs at night.
Frequent bed wetting is common in children up to the age of six. As children do not wet the bed on purpose, they should not be under pressure if they are younger than six.
Approximately 15 to 20 per cent of all five- and six-year-olds wet the bed and majority of them are boys. With teenagers, the figure is 2 to 3 per cent up to 14 and 1 per cent at 15 or over.
Why do children wet the bed?
Some children may be heavy sleepers and do not wake up when their bladder is full. Majority children who wet the bed have done it all their life and in many cases no reason can be found.
Bed wetting also happens to a close relative in up to 85 per cent of cases. About 57 per cent of children who wet their beds either have a brother, sister or a parent who has experienced the same problem.
It may have a medical or psychological cause such as diabetes, cystitis, problems at school, at home, or the divorce of parents. The child needs to be examined by a physician (Bed Wetting Diagnosis) who will then decide whether bed weting treatment is necessary.
When should a child be taken to the doctor?
Most children outgrow bed wetting on their own, but some need a little help. In other cases, bed-wetting may indicate an underlying condition that needs medical attention.
Consult your child's doctor if:
- If the child wets during the daytime also.
- If the child urinates more than normal, day or night.
- If the child starts all of a sudden wetting the bed without having done so earlier.
- If the child still wets the bed after the age of five or six.
- If the child's urine has a strong smell or if the child says that it pains during or after urination.
What are the complications of bed wetting?
Bed wetting without a physical cause doesn't create any health risks but it may be frustrating. The guiltiness and humiliation a child feels about wetting the bed can lead to low self-esteem, however.
Rashes on the bottom and genital area may be a problem as well, especially if your child sleeps in wet underwear. To prevent a rash, help your child wash his or her bottom and genital area every morning. It also may help to cover the affected area with a petroleum ointment at bedtime.