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Child Health » Bed Wetting in Children

Bed-wetting is a condition that affects children worldwide. Bed-wetting is a subject that parents usually avoid discussing with anyone. They may be ashamed to admit that their child still cannot control his bladder. However, bed-wetting in children, and even teenagers, is a common occurrence.

Bed-wetting (sleep-wetting or 'nocturnal enuresis') is a term given to the uncontrolled passing of urine while a person is asleep. It affects people of all ages, but is usually seen in young children, until the age of six. Male children are usually affected by it.

Bed-wetting can occur due to a number of reasons. It can be hereditary or it can be due to any anatomical/physical causes, psychological causes or due to any external stress.

Effects of bed-wetting on children:

Bed-wetting is not physically painful, but such children might suffer from emotional problems. This is largely due to the stigma associated with bed-wetting. Punishing or teasing the child will only harm his/her self esteem and make more difficult for the child to stop bed-wetting.

Bed-wetting also prevents children from attending certain social activities involving sleepovers and overnight trips. Children who are unable to join in these gatherings may find themselves missing out on spending quality time with their peers for no fault of theirs and thus, they start suffering from psychological distress.

Ways to stop bed-wetting in children:

The first thing to remember is that bed-wetting is an involuntary response. A child does not deliberately wet the bed. Almost all children wet their bed till their bodies learn to control their bladder. Thus, bedwetting until the age of five or six is perceived to be a common occurrence and is usually not considered a problem.

There are some steps parents can take to minimize a child's chances of bed-wetting. The simplest way is to limit a child's fluid intake a few hours before bedtime. Also, encourage the child to visit the toilet before he goes to sleep. If necessary, wake him up once during the night so that he can empty his bladder. Bed-wetting usually increases with a drop in temperature, so make sure the child is dressed in warm clothing. The child can be made to wear diapers to reduce his embarrassment and prevent him from making a mess. In severe cases of bed-wetting, it is better to consult a doctor to detect the underlying cause.

Bed-wetting is not a disease. It is simply an unfortunate condition that affects children not just physically, but mentally as well. However, it can be easily cured and in most cases, the best healer is time.

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