When it is Time to Speak with Your Child’s Doctor about Bed Wetting

Bed wetting episodes before a child turns six years of age are not usually a cause for alarm. In fact bed wetting is very common among children who are two to three years of age and just beginning toilet training all the way up to children who are entering elementary school at age five or six. However if your child still wets his or her bed on a regular basis past the age of six it might be a good idea to schedule a visit to the doctor’s office. There are cases as well where a child begins wetting their bed out of the blue and it is accompanied by other physical or psychological symptoms. This could mean that there is a medical problem behind the episodes and therefore his or her family doctor or pediatrician should examine the child.

Before being able to make a proper diagnosis a doctor will go through a child’s complete medical history with the parents and then will do a thorough physical exam. If the doctor deems it necessary, he or she will send the child for laboratory tests such as blood tests and/or a urine test (also known as a urinalysis). In some cases x-rays will also be done. The main health problems doctors want to rule out by doing tests are the risk of a bladder infection, a kidney infection, other types of bladder problems, constipation and diabetes. Severe stress can also bring on a case of secondary enuresis so if all medical tests show that the child is healthy, the doctor may sit down and talk at length with the and/or the child and his parents to see if there might be a psychological link for the bed wetting in terms of new stress on the home front or to do with school.

Ninety percent of the time, bed wetting is not related to a physical problem. If that is the case then a doctor may suggest a variety of therapies that can be undertaken to help rid the child of the problem. Sometimes however both the bed wetting child as well as his parents simply require information, advice and a great deal of reassurance from the doctor.

If the doctor believes that the bed wetting is serious enough to warrant treatment there are a number of different ones that can be tried. Behavior modification and the use of moisture alarms are two of the most commonly used therapies. They both are deemed safe and have high success rates with low percentages for relapses. There is also motivational therapy and bladder training exercises as well as a variety of medications that can be used. Two of the most commonly used drugs for bed wetting are desmopressin acetate (DDAVP) and imipramine. Psychotherapy is another treatment option and in rare cases, allergies can bring about bed wetting and therefore call for a change in diet.

Get in touch with your doctor if your child suddenly begins wetting the bed for reasons unbeknownst to you and also if your child starts wetting their pants throughout the daytime, complains of abdominal pain and/or experiences a feeling of burning when he or she goes to the toilet.