Bed Wetting (Enuresis)

Bed Wetting (Enuresis)

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Treatment for Bedwetting

Even though all children will eventually grow out of, bedwetting can often be a problem that is ongoing for some children.

It is helpful to know 25% boys and 15% of girls wet the bed at the age of 6 and 8% of boys and 4% of girls still wet at 12.

The choice of treatment for bedwetting needs to be governed by the desire not only to keep a child dry in the first instance dry at night (although this will be optimal because it is uncomfortable and means a lot of bed changing overnight) but mostly to keep a child happy and healthy and to improve the quality of their sleep.

There are lots of treatments and strategies for bedwetting, and like all sleep problems will probably be caused by one of two things

  1. A physiological issues (something going on in the child’s body)
  2. A psychological and behavioural issues (stress can make it worse)

The first point of call would be to check the first one and a visit to the GP should include examination of the abdomen for masses and the external genitalia for abnormalities and the urine for abnormal levels of glucose, protein, blood and infection.

The second point of call is to address any stresses that may be contributing.

Practicing good sleep behaviours such as good sleep hygiene for this specific problem, by making sure the child goes to the toilet completely before bed.

Try and reduce liquid intake at night.


Treatments for bedwetting range include :

  1. The Pad and Bell system is a type of alarm safely placed either under the sheet of the bed or attached to pyjamas that wakes the child up at the first sign of wetness.
  • Bladder control exercises children are encouraged to drink and then delay urination as long as possible. This trains volume control during the day and therefore affects nocturnal sills indirectly.
  • Stream interruption – the child is required to stop and start urination during at least one daytime urination teaching bladder and muscular control. It is effective in a multi-component treatment.
  • Stress reduction and addressing any worries the child has.
  • Drug treatments are also available




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