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Bed Wetting in children

Children often wets the bed at home but are able to control their bladder while sleeping elsewhere.

health and fitness Updated: Aug 01, 2003 20:11 IST

In many houses parents admonish their children for continuing to pass urine in the bed even when they are four to five years of age. Further, parents wonder why the child who regularly wets the bed at home is able to control his bladder well when he sleeps away from home.

The frequent discussion about his or her bedwetting habit is a source of great embarrassment to the child. Is bedwetting due to a physical defect or it is due to a problem in the mind of the child? Let's try to analyse this problem.

Generally due to the immaturity of the nervous system and the bladder reflexes, until the age of four or five years it may be quite normal for children to wet the bed until this age. Persistence of bed wetting beyond this age needs to be investigated and it may be due to a variety or reasons like:

    Small bladder capacity

    Lapsing into spells of deep sleep where the normal signals from the nerves indicating a full bladder & asking us to wake up, do not reach the brain.

    Urinary Tract Disorders

    One explanation for why the child does not wet the bed when he sleeps away from home is that being unfamiliar surroundings the child does not lapse into deep sleep.

Here are a few simple remedies, which may help to control bed-wetting:

    When the child expresses a desire to pass urine during the day, ask him to control himself for a while. This will help in increasing the capacity of the bladder.

    Encourage the child to have an early dinner, by say 7.30 p.m.

    Make the night meal as dry a meal as possible. Do not give too many fluids to the child at dinner.

    Give even the glass of milk which the child has before going to bed, before 7.30 p.m.

    Before going to bed, the child must be asked to pass urine and sometimes it can even be asked to strain slightly to empty the bladder fully.

    Never criticize the child in public for bedwetting. This will almost certainly make matters worse. Instead, on the nights the child does not wet the bed lavish praise on the child and even give it small gifts. This form of psychotherapy is often useful.


First Published: Aug 01, 2003 20:11 IST