Bedwetting does not have a psychological cause and is a common childhood medical condition, with approximately five to ten per cent of seven year-olds regularly wetting their beds and the problem may persist into teenage and adulthood.
World Bedwetting Day 2016 is marked today by the World Bedwetting Day Steering Committee, a new working group led by the International Children’s Continence Society (ICCS) and the European Society for Paediatric Urology (ESPU), comprising patient and professional groups from across the globe.
Despite misconceptions that bedwetting is a simple childhood condition it has been shown to have a serious impact on a child’s self-esteem, emotional well-being and day time functioning, including school performance. However it can and should be treated. A recent study has highlighted this benefit by demonstrating that successfully treating bedwetting showed improvements in auditory working memory, quality of life and day time functioning.
Top 10 Tips for Parents on Bedwetting from LloydsPharmacy pharmacist Alison McCreedy
1. A general healthy diet and lifestyle can help with bedwetting. Why not ask your child how they are feeling? Are they having problems at school? Perhaps they are anxious about the arrival of a new baby brother or sister?
2. A calm bedtime routine that’s regular may help. A warm bath or shower followed by reading your child’s favourite bedtime story may help to settle and relax them. Changes in light can lead to the release of vasopressin which can cause bedwetting so turn down all the lights and make your child’s bedroom as dark as possible.
3. As part of the bedtime routine, encourage your child to go to the toilet before getting into bed and make sure they know how to get to the toilet during the night – is there an easy route from his/her bedroom? Is the door open? Is there a light to show the way?
4. Waking your child up in the night or carrying them to the toilet is unlikely to help with bedwetting in the long run. Support your child in overcoming bedwetting on their own.
5. Have spare bedding and pyjamas at hand to ensure sleep is minimally disrupted. Use waterproof covers on your child’s mattress and duvet or consider pull-ups as a short term solution.
6. Why not use a reward system to encourage your child to help themselves become dry? Give them stickers for going to the toilet regularly and encourage praise.
7. Throughout the day encourage your child to drink at least six glasses of water or water based drinks to encourage going to the toilet regularly.
8. We recommend avoiding fizzy or caffeinated drinks, especially during the evening as these drinks increase the need to urinate.
9. Keep calm and positive, bedwetting is not your child’s fault – as frustrating and stressful as it may be.
10. It’s never too early to ask for help. Bedwetting can be prevented easily and quickly with a range of medicines and alarms.
Remember, while it’s important never to blame your child, it’s also perfectly normal to feel frustrated. Pop in and speak to your local LloydsPharmacy pharmacist if you need support, or are finding it difficult. The LloydsPharmacy pharmacists can offer advice and can also provide you with free Norman stickers – these are perfect as small rewards for your child when they have a dry night.
For more information please visit World Bedwetting Day.