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Understanding Bed Wetting: What Is It?

By the time a child reaches the age of two, he could usually can keep himself dry during the day. It make a while, a year perhaps, to help him keep dry over the night. However, even the best potty-trained child could still fail this expectation. Bed wetting is common for young children. Bedwetting is also called nocturnal enuresis or involuntary passage of urine.

Bed wetting is among the most problems parents face. Rather than an emotional and physical defect, bed wetting can be considered a developmental delay. Frequently, bed wetting is associated with how it runs in the family or its family history. A parent who is a bed wetter as a child has 45 % of passing it to his chid. Aside from family history, bed wetting could also be a neurological delay. There are studies showing that girls could stay dry by the age of six and boys by the age of seven. Adult bed wetting occurs by 0.5 to 2.3 %.

There are two types of bed wetting: primary and secondary nocturnal enuresis. Primary enuresis is bed wetting for babies and young children. Primary nocturnal enuresis (PNE), as some medical guidelines and insurance company defines, is diagnosed when children ages 4 to 5 still persistently bed wet.

About 20% of children no longer wet their bed by the age of five. The percentage of bed wetters is reduced as much as 50% each year after the child turns five. Upon reaching the age of six, only 10 % still wet the bed, most of them are boys.

Secondary enuresis is a kind of wetting that developed after being dry for a minimum of six months. Most of the times, it is referred to be brought about by emotional stress or medical condition that has bladder infection.

About 2 to 3 % of children who wet their bed have medical reasons for doing so. Some causes of secondary nocturnal enuresis are metabolic disorders, urinary track infections, the bladder experiences too much pressure, and neurological disorders of the spinal cord. To identify if bed wetting is caused by a medical condition, urinalysis and urine culture is done along with medical evaluation and further laboratory tests.

Some would say that children would outgrow bed wetting. However, it could interfere or affect your child’s confidence and self-esteem or daily activities, which is why some parents are anxious for their children to stop bed wetting. When thinking of stopping or addressing bed wetting, it is best to consult your child’s doctor. Your doctor would need to identify first if the bed wetting accidents are primary or secondary nocturnal enuresis.

Different children undergo different development. Patience is important when training children to stop wetting the mattress. Reassurance and a good word to encourage them will keep the children on track. Aside from that, there are general tips that could help in managing bed wetting, like restricting intake of fluids, having a plastic covered mattress, using bed wetting alarms, exercises to stretch the bladder, and at certain times, the use of medications.

Bed wetting could be a passing problem parents could deal with using encouragement and sometimes a system of rewards. Bu parents need to understand that children who continuously wet their beds are not abnormal and can be best treated without shaming, embarrassing and even professional medical help.


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