ASK DR ELLIE: My nine-year-old daughter still wets the bed, will she ever overcome it? 

Mail Online | 1/19/2019 | Dr Ellie Cannon for The Mail on Sunday
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My nine-year-old daughter wets the bed. She has no problems during the day and has her last drink at 6.30pm, before bed at 8pm. We’ve seen a specialist twice and she has tried medication, but it made no difference. I’m worried, and feel we’re not getting much support.

The most important thing for families to know about bed wetting is that 99 per cent of children will grow out of it by adolescence.

Child - Bed-wetting - Impact - Child - Health

Keeping calm, especially when discussing it with a child, is so important. Historically, we know that bed-wetting can have a profound impact on a child’s mental health: they avoid school trips and feel different from their peers, which leads to guilt, shame and poor self-esteem.

Up to five per cent of children still wet the bed at ten, so it is not an uncommon issue but it is upsetting and inconvenient.

Child - Control - Night - Volume - Bladder

A child can take longer to maintain control at night either because the volume of their bladder is smaller or they simply don’t feel the sensation of a full bladder enough to wake them up.

This improves with age. The inconvenience can be minimised by using waterproof mattress protectors and it’s worth insisting on a toilet visit before bed.

Reasons - Child - Bed - GP - Constipation

There are medical reasons why a child wets the bed and these would always be investigated by a GP. Constipation is an issue that affects the bladder – if a child’s bowels become blocked it can put pressure on the bladder.

A third of children with constipation will also wet the bed, so that must be corrected. Diabetes, stress and urinary infections will also cause bed wetting but that tends to be in children who have previously been dry at night.

Bed-wetting - Continence - Charity - ERIC - Orguk

The bed-wetting and continence charity ERIC (eric.org.uk) offers families help. It sells bed-wetting alarms – bedside...
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