Though it is not a child’s fault, wetting the bed can lead to distress for both the child and the parents. The feeling of embarrassment or guilt due to bedwetting may cause stress or anxiety and can have a huge impact on the child’s emotional state as well as self-esteem.
Frequently asked questions about Bed Wetting:
1. What is bedwetting?
Bedwetting, also known as nocturnal enuresis or nighttime incontinence is involuntary or spontaneous urination at night while asleep.
2. What are the types of bedwetting or enuresis?
· Primary enuresis: when the child has never been dry at night
· Secondary enuresis: the child has started to wet the bed after being dry for six consecutive months
3. What factors play a role in causing bedwetting?
· Unable to recognize a full bladder: If the nerves controlling the bladder develop at a slow pace, a full bladder may not awaken the child
· Urinary tract infection: the infection can make urination control a difficult task for children
· Chronic constipation: prolonged constipation can make muscles dysfunctional causing bedwetting, as muscles for controlling urine and stool elimination are the same
· Structural abnormalities in the urinary tract or nervous system: structural defect in the urinary or neurological system can cause bedwetting in rare cases
· Hormonal imbalance: reduction in antidiuretic hormone production can increase urine production at night
· Small bladder: the child’s bladder may not be developed completely to hold urine produced at night
· Diabetes: if the child is usually dry at night and begins to wet, it can also be the first sign of diabetes
· Stress or anxiety: stressful events may give rise to bedwetting in children
· Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): bedwetting is usually common in ADHD children
· Family history: If any one or both parents have a history of bedwetting in their childhood, there are significant chances of bedwetting in their children too
4. At what age should one be worried about their child’s bedwetting?
Bedwetting prior to 5 years of age should not be a concern as your child may still be developing nighttime bladder control. If your child continues to wet the bed even after 7 years, consulting a child specialist is advisable.
5. Is bedwetting a condition that affects for a lifetime?
No. The condition affects children between the age group of 5 to 10 years. Bedwetting progressively diminishes after this age and is extremely uncommon in adulthood.
6. What tests are done to identify the cause of bedwetting?
· Physical examination
· Urine tests- to identify infections or diabetes
· X-rays or other imaging tests
7. When should a child be taken to the doctor?
Visit a physician, if your child experiences:
· Bedwetting even after 7 years of age
· Painful urination, pink or red urine, hard stools, unusual thirst, snoring
· Bedwetting after a few months of being dry at night
8. Does bedwetting require treatment?
Bedwetting declines itself with time for most children, as they develop and grow older. However, in some kids, the condition may be seen for a prolonged period and may require treatment measures.
9. What should be done, if a child’s bedwetting continues?
· Be patient
· Do not punish or blame your child
· Make a list of all the signs and symptoms, family history, and medications or supplements your child is taking
· Visit a pediatrician
10. How is bedwetting managed if it does not resolve?
Bed-wetting can be treated with the help of:
· Moisture alarms: the device makes alarm sounds just as your child begins to urinate, this will help your child to wake, pause the urine flow and go to the toilet
· Medications: medications are prescribed either to decrease nighttime urine production or to calm the bladder
11. What preventive measures can be taken at home for bedwetting in children?
· Limit fluid intake in the evening
· Encourage your child to void twice before bed
· Avoid caffeine-containing foods or beverages
· Encourage your child to use the toilet regularly during the day
12. What are the complications of bedwetting?
· Rashes in the bottom and genital area: commonly experienced in children sleeping in wet underwear
· A sense of embarrassment which can also lower the child’s self-esteem
· The condition can even lead to loss of social activity related opportunities
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