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Management of bedwetting in children

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Nocturnal enuresis or bed wetting is a common thing among children. Your child is most likely to outgrow this habit after seven years, although it might take some more years for others. There are several reasons associated with bedwetting which could be due to family history, poor bladder control, hormonal imbalance, nerve problem, etc. or simply drinking too much water during night.

The problem is kids do not realize that they are urinating on bed and this is the reason why bedwetting needs to be managed not only to get over embarrassment but also to lead a healthy and hygienic life.  


The effective strategies to manage bedwetting are:

Wet Alarms

Wet or moisture alarms are readily available in pharmacy shops. The device works by sensing wetness in your child’s underpants or the pad he/she might be wearing. The alarm starts ringing, listening to which kids wake up and visit the toilet. However, it might a month or two (less or more) to get used to the alarm.

If your child sleeps deeply at night, then you should be alert when the alarm rings. Make sure you inculcate the habit of waking your kid up from bed and urinate in toilets.


Motivation and counseling

Motivation and behavioral therapies work on bedwetting and improves bladder control. Furthermore, counseling also helps to deal with embarrassment and emotional issues that both parents and children suffer from. Some strategies implied by doctors are:

  • Changing thinking process by using affirmative techniques
  • Altering toilet habits, ensuring that he/she goes toilet before going to bed
  • Reward systems- gifting your kid something or start grading for every dry night to keep him/her motivated
  • Retention control training – Doctors offer training on bladder control and urination habits. Exercises and therapies are performed in this regard

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Fluid intake and toilet habits

Your doctor will prepare a chart for your kid for daily recommended fluid intake. Parents should ensure that they are drinking the quantity suggested and not overdrinking fluids, especially during after evening. To maintain proper hydration, doctors advice adequate fluid intake during morning. This way the bladder remains empty and the urgency to void bladder while sleeping does not arise.

Usually your child will visit toilet 7-9 times in a day. However, you must ensure that he/she is urinating at least 2 times before finally going to bed. Modification of fluid intake and toilet habits when combined properly can effectively manage bedwetting in children.


Medicines for management of bedwetting in children

Doctors usually do not prescribe medicines to treat bedwetting unless they fail to outgrow the habit with age (usually after 12 years or above) or it’s a serious condition.

Your doctor will prescribe medicines after evaluating your child’s medical history and observing the pattern of nocturnal enuresis. Make sure you let your doctor know if he/she has any other health issues like headaches, muscle pain, weakness, etc.

Your child might need to undergo some urodynamics tests and then medicines will be prescribed.

Drugs prescribed usually for bedwetting are desmopressin and tricyclic antidepressants. These medicines impact secretion of anti diuretic hormones and improve urine retention ability of bladder.

Follow the instructions carefully regarding the dosing, timing and other important aspects associated with the medicines.

Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: October 27, 2014

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