Enuresis, the medical term for bedwetting, is the involuntary release of urine, usually during sleep at night.
- A child who were his bed recurrently after he has learned to control urination during toilet-training has enuresis.
- Controlling urination through the night may not happen until after the age of three though some children are able to use the bathroom by themselves by the age of Two.
- About 15% of boys and 10% of girls are bedwetters at the age of 5; most outgrow it by the time they reach puberty.
- Children who are bedwetters should be examined to rule out any physical abnormality in the urinary tract.
- Obstruction at the neck of the blade where it joins the urethra or obstruction at the end of the urethra may cause uncontrollable dribbling of urine but this happens at both night and day.
- Disease of the nerves controlling the bladder, sometimes hereditary, can cause loss of urine. It can also occur in children who are mentally retarded or mentally ill, or because of an acute or chronic illness.
- In cases of chronic illness, the problem disappears when the child regains his health.
- If all physical abnormalities for bedwetting have been explored and eliminated as possible causes, the emotional problems of the child and his family should be examined.
- This condition often develops when there’s a stressful change in the child’s environment.
Typical examples are the birth of a sibling, the absence of a parent, or separation anxiety on the first day of school.
An understanding attitude rather than a hostile or punitive one is extremely important in helping a child with neurosis.
The bedwetting could be his outlet for emotions he cannot adequately express.
Bring the child’s hidden feelings into the open and dealing with them sympathetically usually causes the problem to disappear.
What can you do?
Limiting the intake of liquids before bedtime, encouraging the child to urinate before going to bed or waking the child soon after he’s gone to sleep and getting him to go to the bathroom may also help.
Behaviour modification techniques include the use of positive reinforcement and rewards for dry nights as well as devices with small alarms that wake the child up when he urinate in bed.
If the condition persists, a doctor may prescribe medications such as imipramime.