What Parents Should Know About Bed Wetting

It is important for parents to be aware that children who wet their bed do not do it on purpose. They are not bad kids, dirty kids or lazy kids. The majority of children begin to develop nighttime bladder control around the age of three but for some children it takes longer. It is important to be aware that from a medical point of view, bed wetting is a symptom of something else and not a disease in and of itself. As well bed wetting is a common problem among children. It is estimated that 5 to 7,ooo, ooo children wet their beds on a regular basis.

There are some basic facts about bed wetting that parents should be aware of. First of all approximately fifteen to thirty percent of children wet their beds at night past the age of three and four. Bed wetting is a great deal more common in boys than it is in girls. Bed wetting has been found to run in families, so if you did it when you were young or one of your parents did, then there is a very likely probability that so will your child. Bed wetting usually has ended by the time a child enters puberty however three percent of children still wet their beds at age twelve and approximately one percent due at age eighteen. Bed wetting is rarely a sign of deep emotional or psychological problems.

In most cases bed wetting is simply caused by a child’s “bladder control being slower than normal.” It also may be linked to the central nervous system and a “slow maturation” of the nerves and muscles that send the message to the brain that the bladder is full and the child needs to be awakened to empty it. In some cases bed wetting occurs alongside sleep disorders such as nigh terrors and sleepwalking. In some cases it also accompanies snoring and sleep apnea. Occasionally but not often is the problem a physical one. In general only one to two percent of children who wet their beds are suffering from a bladder infection. However if this is the case it is important to take them to the doctor so antibiotics can be prescribed to get rid of the infection.

Bed wetting is broken down into primary enuresis and secondary enuresis. What has been described so far would be primary enuresis. Secondary enuresis is when bed wetting has ended but then starts up again in relation to stress that has materialized in a child’s life.

As a parent it is important to be supportive and to reassure your children that he or she is perfectly normal and that the bed wetting problem will pass. Always be patient with your child and never get angry and/or punish him or her for behavior the child cannot control. Parents can help their child by making sure their child does not consume too many liquids before bedtime. As well liquids with caffeine in them should be avoided as much as possible. Encourage your child to use the bathroom before they go to bed at night and then if need be, wake them in the night to inquire if they need to go again. It is also important to praise your child on the mornings they awaken and have not wet their bed at all.