Bedwetting among children below the age of 6 is considered normal, but beyond that it causes considerable embarrassment and problems in both the child and the parents. From a medical point of view, nocturnal enuresis – the medical term for bedwetting- is not an issue unless the child is above the age of 7. Unless there is no medical, psychological and emotional reason for bedwetting in school children, there is nothing to worry; children outgrow bedwetting with time, so parents need to have patience. However, most children get embarrassed or are shamed by parents making the issue worse.
It needs to be understood that bedwetting is not a sign of laziness; it is just the lack of required control over the body. In adults, when the bladder is full, the brain sends the signal to empty it out, and adults can sense it. Sometimes, when the kids are in deep sleep, they may not be able to wake up themselves to pee, and release the urine in the bed itself.
Common causes of bedwetting in school age children are:
- Genetics: If you or your mate have had a bedwetting history.
- Constipation: Hard stool could exert pressure on the bladder, causing the urine to leak.
- Physiology: Their bodies have not developed with the age and they are unable to wake up at night when they need to pee.
- Less Bathroom Breaks: The world has become so busy that sometimes kid are not allowed to pee when the urge strikes – like in the classroom, during TV time and playing.
How To Help:
Bedwetting is the last straw of toilet training. Parents should understand that this is normal and try to help the children in a positive way. Some tips:
- Never Reprimand: Do not brand your child as lazy, and make him feel ashamed. Instead, talk to him about it and let him know that he will grow out of it.
- Limit Fluid Intake In Night: Follow the 40-40-20 rule – make your child have the most liquids before lunch and evening, and limit the same after the sun sets. However, ensure that your child stays hydrated.
- Frequent Bathroom Breaks: If your child is busy playing the video game or is on the I-pad, it is very likely that he will curb the urge to pee. Remind your child to use the toilet every two hours.
- Ensure Bathroom Trip Before Lights Off: Before it is bedtime and your child is all set to sleep, ensure he takes one last trip to the bathroom.
- Rewards: You could create an incentive chart to encourage the child – for every night he stays dry.
- Moisture Alarm: Consider buying a moisture alarm, it will wake your child (and you) when there is a little leak in the pajamas.
- Leave A Small Light On: Children can be scared to go to the bathroom if the room is not well light and may stick to the bed. Make sure you leave a small light on to guide your child to the bathroom.
- Invest in a waterproof mattress.
- You could also put plastic sheets on the mattress and a towel on the bed sheet.
- Make your child wear thick underpants.
- Ensure your child has a lot of fibre in his diet.
You could use medicines and seek medical help if your child is over seven, and consult a paediatrician. Whatever your way of dealing with bedwetting, never blame your child or hurt his self esteem.