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Enuresis (Bed Wetting)




This is a child who wets the bed longer than you think they should. The problem is that most people think that all children should be dry by 4 years old. If one asks the general population, 13% wet the bed in first grade (6 yr. old), 3% still wet every night in Jr. High school, and even 1% by 20 yrs old. Wow! I didn't know that. It's normal to wet the bed into school age. They are asleep and don't even know they do it. It does not help to restrict fluids or get them up at night. Please do not punish them or act like they are bad in the morning by your face or words. They are in such a deep sleep that even 1 drop of urine will come out. As they mature they will be dry at night. You can get an alarm bell device (ask your doc. to give you an order blank) to train them to recognize the full bladder and get up. This can be tried by 7 years old. There is also a safe nasal spray of antidiuretic hormone called DDAVP. They use it before bed on nights they want to be dry. I don't recommend it every night unless the child is depressed (he won't be if you don't put him on a guilt trip). You can get a prescription from the MD and use it by 7 years old for special nights like sleep overs or scout campouts. It is safe but I prefer doing nothing and giving lots of reassurance.

Dr. Knapp