Medical problems that make kids wet their beds

Nocturnal enuresis, the medical name for bed-wetting, is an involuntary urination that happens at night during sleep and after the age that a child should be able to control his or her bladder. It is a common problem among children, especially those under six years.

Millions of families are coping with the issue every night.
According to a survey by the National Health Institute, more than 40 per cent of children still wet their beds by the age five.
The survey adds that less than five per cent of those kids do so by the time they are between eight and 11 years old.
All the same, this phase can be very stressful for families. The kids may feel embarrassed about spending the night at a friend’s house or at camp, if they know they cannot control their bladder and parents are worried anytime the discussion arises.
Consultant Urologist, Dr. Taiwo Olaniran, notes that most kids will wet the bed till the age of three.
Olaniran, however, states that parents should consider seeing a doctor if a child keeps bed-wetting after the age of nine.
He states that many things, including infection in the bladder and hormonal imbalance and kidney problems in the kid, can lead to bed-wetting, hence the need for mothers to be vigilant.
The physician says that children whose reproductive organs have been exposed to some bacteria and viruses due to poor hygiene may contract infections. If such infections are not detected or treated early, this may lead to bladder incontinence.
“ If your child is bed-wetting after the age of nine, then you may have to see a doctor or a paediatrician. It could be because of slower development of bladder control. There may be hormonal issues.
“The most common medical reason why children bed wet after the age of eight is infection in the bladder. For this, we should even blame the parents, not the kids. We must teach our children the best hygiene, such as cleaning up before and after using any toilet. Also, wash their hands to ensure that you do not transfer germs in the environment to sensitive organs in the body.
“Do not treat your child’s bladder problems as a spiritual problem. Therefore, you need to see a doctor. With monitoring and treatment, you can take care of infection successfully. Also, do not use herbal medicines or patronise quacks, infections do not respond to herbs but specific drugs.”
Experts at the Mayo Clinic say that stress and anxiety can make a child wet the bed. They note that if a child who has been dry suddenly starts bed-wetting, parents must check the schedule of the child to ensure that he/she is not stressed out.
They add that it is more common among boys than with girls. So if your boy is still bed-wetting at six, there is nothing about it.
You may also want to ensure that your child goes to bed early, so that he/she can get up in the middle of the night to urinate. Poor sleeping hours, experts add, may lead to bed-wetting
Remember that there is no need working yourself up because of this common condition. Olaniran advises that rather than condemning the child, parents, especially mothers should show more support to help their children outgrow the stage.
He states, “Many of us wet the bed at one point or the other while we were growing up. In fact, bed-wetting often runs in families. If you or your partner wet the bed as a child, talk with your child about it. It will help him see that people do outgrow it. And it may help him feel less alone and embarrassed.
“Reassure your child by being supportive. He is not wetting the bed on purpose. Bed-wetting is not typically a sign of an emotional or physical problem. Explain to him that it is normal, very common, and that he won’t always wet the bed.”
Although most children eventually outgrow this phase, here are some steps you can take as a parent to help your child keep dry through the night.
Purchase a moisture alarm: A moisture alarm wakes your child the second he wets the bed. The interruption in sleep can condition the brain to control the bladder better and help prevent accidents. This method is about 75 per cent effective and tends to work when children themselves are ready to be dry.
Invest in a waterproof mattress: If moisture alarms and medication are not for you, you can try simpler measures: Make sure the bed has a waterproof mattress cover or pad and pillowcases, and stock up.
Help in changing the sheets: If your child sleeps through the night in a wet bed, you might also want to ask him to help change the sheets in the morning — doing so can help him to take responsibility for the bed-wetting. Helping to change the sheets can make him feel part of the solution rather than the problem.
Check for constipation: Constipation is a common cause for bladder problems. When the rectum, located just behind the bladder is filled with large or hard poop, there is more pressure on the bladder. This causes bladder instability, which, in turn, can lead to nighttime (or even daytime) accidents. If you notice that your child is not having a daily bowel movement or if his stool is typically hard, increase his fluid and fibre intake. Apple juice, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are all good options in easing constipation and getting the system working better again.


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