OUR INSTITUTES: CANCER | HEART | NEUROSCIENCE | ORTHOPAEDICS
 
 

CHOC Children's Publications
Share |
Printer Friendly
Kid's Health (Archive)
Our award-winning Kid's Health Magazine is designed to provide healthful information for your growing child. Please Note: Kid's Health Magazine is no longer being printed. Please visit our blog at http://www.choc.org/blog for the latest articles about your child's health from the experts at CHOC Children's. You can also receive our electronic Kid's Health newsletter in your inbox by subscribing to our mailing list: http://www.choc.org/subscribe

Ask Our Expert: Joseph Raffel, M.D.

Q: My 5-year old wets the bed at least once a week. Should I be concerned?

A: Occasional urinary incontinence is a normal part of growing up, and children who experience nighttime wetting tend to be both physically and emotionally normal. At this time, it is believed nighttime wetting may be caused by several factors, including slower physical development, an over production of urine at night, a lack of ability to recognize bladder filling while asleep, and, in some cases, anxiety. Some children have a family history of bedwetting. In very few cases is incontinence caused by a physical problem in the urinary system.

Fortunately, most urinary incontinence resolves itself with time. You may be interested to know that 10 percent of all 5-year-olds still wet the bed. By age 10, that figure drops to five percent. And at age 18, one percent of the population is still wet at night.

One treatment option is bladder training, which consists of exercises to strengthen and coordinate muscles of the bladder and urethra to help control urination. These techniques also teach the child to anticipate and recognize the need to urinate. I also recommend Kegel exercises to increase muscle control of the sphincter. Delaying urination, having the child wait longer between toileting, may help stretch the bladder so it can retain more fluid. Of course, decrease fluids at dinnertime, and eliminate them completely in the evening.

Battery-driven moisture alarms are available to help awaken the child as the bedwetting begins. For this approach to be effective, however, the child needs to wake up right away. Some children sleep very soundly, so a parent may need to sleep in the same room to help awaken the child as soon as the alarm sounds.

The antidiuretic medication DDAVP may be used to treat the symptoms caused by over-excessive urinary output. For nighttime bedwetting caused by an overactive bladder, Ditropan or Detrol may help calm the bladder muscle and cause it to contract with less force.

If you have further questions or concerns, I recommend you consult with your pediatrician.

Good luck!

CHOC CHILDREN'S PUBLICATIONS
PHYSICIAN CONNECTION ENEWSLETTER
KIDS HEALTH MAGAZINE
ANNUAL REPORT
spacer

Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest  Instagram  Foursquare  LinkedIn  YouTube  RSS  CHOC Blog

US News     CAPE Award   Magnet      Beacon Award      Most Trusted Brand     Leapfrog

chocChildren's Hospital of Orange County | UCI University of California, Irvine

Children's Hospital of Orange County is affiliated with UC Irvine Healthcare and UC Irvine School of Medicine

CHOC Children's - 1201 W La Veta Ave, Orange, CA. Phone: 714-997-3000. .