When bed-wetting becomes a problem in your home, what do you do?
Often times when a child is wetting his or her bed, the reason is due either to an undiagnosed medical condition or due to psychological effects. As a parent, you will want to find out what is happening with your child so that you can stop bedwetting.Unfortunately, there are things that prevent many parents from trying to determine what causes their child’s bedwetting. Some of the things that stop parents from helping their children include:
- Shame (parents worry that a child’s bedwetting will reflect badly on them while children may be reluctant to speak with a pediatrician about a problem that is embarrassing for them).
- Misconceptions about bedwetting
- Time (some parents may be reluctant to take the time to help a child, assuming that bedwetting is a normal childhood ailment and will be resolved by itself)
- Anger (parents may feel frustrated or angry with the problem and this may make them think of the problem as unimportant)
Before we start to consider some of the things that can be done to stop bedwetting in its tracks, we need to discuss the very idea of bedwetting. Bedwetting occurs at night, and often in children who have no trouble or little trouble controlling their bladder during the day. This means that for these children, bedwetting makes bedtime a terrible time. Rather than being a time of stories and rest, bedtime becomes a time of conflict and stress for both parent and child.
Bedwetting is not a rare problem. Experts think that five to seven million children in this country wet the bed at least occasionally. The older children get, the less likely they are to wet the bed, as children outgrow the problem at a rate of roughly 15% per year. However, this means that 1% of older teenagers, and 20% of children between the ages of six and five will still wet their bed regularly.
Bedwetting creates stress for the entire family. Parents may be frustrated and fatigued by the washing of sheets, drying of mattresses, and reassurances that follow each incident of bedwetting.
The medical term for bedwetting is Enuresis and it is a serious subject for medical research. Researchers have found that a few basic causes of bedwetting seem to be the culprit for most sufferers of Enuresis. Among medical causes, ailments such as urinary tract infections, allergies, diabetes, cell anemia and sleep disorders are often the culprit.
Since bedwetting is often the first sign of these problems, it is a good idea to get your child checked out for these conditions. In addition, researchers have found that psychological reasons such as stress, upset, and trauma often contribute to bedwetting.
Children who wet the bed for any reason often suffer needlessly, and this suffering is the best reason to get your child help for Enuresis. Children who wet the bed often suffer from low self-esteem, withdrawal, stress, fear, and other problems. These children may suffer from sleeplessness because they fear or are embarrassed by what happens when they sleep.
A child with Enuresis is often teased by others and may feel dirty by the smell of urine about them. The child may even avoid others out of fear of ridicule. At the very least, fun childhood activities such as camp, sleep overs, and camping may be made into traumatic rather than happy events for the bedwetting child.
Many parents wonder whether they should seek help for bedwetting. After all, despite the problems of bedwetting, many doctors still recommend patience and time as the best way to resolve bedwetting, as many children overcome the problem with no extra help.
Of course, many children does not mean all children, and telling an anxious child that he or she will wake up dry “someday” is not terribly reassuring for anyone. In general, there are a few signs that you should seek help for bedwetting:
- You child asks for help. If your child thinks that bedwetting is enough of a problem that they need help with it, then bedwetting is serious enough to demand some sort of remedy. Period.
- Your child has suddenly developed a problem after having no problems staying dry before. Often, this is a sign of some problem and should be investigated.
- Your child acts out or has problems with others (teasing or lack of friends) as a result of bedwetting.
- Your child avoids normal activities that they like (camping, going out) because of bedwetting.
- Child is bedwetting regularly after eight years old and the problem is causing distress.
- Bedwetting is causing problems in the household.