So your child wets the bed…should you be concerned?

Bedwetting can be frustrating, embarrassing and uncomfortable for you and your child. But for most families, it’s a common part of childhood.

Dennis S. Peppas, M.D., and Eran Rosenberg, M.D., pediatric urologists with Norton Children’s Hospital Urology Specialists, weigh in on common bedwetting questions and address when a child’s accidents could be a sign of something more.

What causes bedwetting?

Kids may wet the bed for various reasons. Young children are still developing bladder control. In many cases, bedwetting runs in families — about 70 percent of children who wet the bed have at least one parent who wet the bed as a child. For most children, bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis) has no anatomical or physiological cause.

When should I seek help for my child?

Most of the time, the issue will resolve itself, usually by the time a child is about 7 years old. If your child is age 7 or older and still wetting the bed, a pediatric urologist can step in to provide a treatment plan. This age is a good time for beginning treatment because the child will be mature enough to have the desire and motivation to stop wetting the bed.

What does treatment look like?

Treatment is based on the individual needs of the child. Depending on the situation, a pediatric urologist may treat bedwetting using a behavior modification schedule. In some cases, a bedwetting alarm, medication, bladder control retraining or a combination of treatments may be needed.

What should I say to my child who wets the bed?

Children do not do this on purpose. It is important not to ridicule or punish your child for wetting the bed. The most important thing to understand about bedwetting in children is that there is no “quick fix.” The best practice is to be patient and consistently follow the treatment plan developed for your child.

Norton Children’s Hospital Urology Specialists offers consultations and specialized care for children and adolescents with a variety of urological conditions. To learn more about its services or schedule an appointment, call (502) 559-1670 or visit NortonChildrens.com.


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