Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Bed wetting crisis!

It is known that between 10 percent and 15 percent of children aged 6 and 7 wet the bed on a regular basis. However only about 1 percent to 2 percent of kids continue to wet the bed by age 14 or 15.
So when do we as parents start worrying about bedwetting?
Well, no treatment is needed before the age of 6 - 7 years.
However before treatment one needs to clearly understand that bed wetting is NOT a psychological problem. Your child is not lazy, mentally slow, or having stress. Tha theory is out of the window! It is a lack of the maturation of the connection between the brain & the urinary bladder. One way of looking at it is that just as some children start walking late or speaking at a later age, similarly some children get bladder control later.
So how to help our child?
We need to understand that there is a lot of social stigma attached to this problem & if untreated there can be a definite loss of self esteem in the child.
Also this is a fixable problem, so do consult your pediatrician.

Steps to control Nocturnal Enuresis (fancy name for bed wetting!)
Increase water & fluid intake in the day!
Reduce water & fluid intake 3-4 hours before sleep time.
Ensure complete passage of urine by asking the child to preferably void twice during each visit.
If possible ask the kid to 'hold on' to the urine for sometime before using the loo. This will exercise the bladder muscles.
Peeing before bedtime is always a good idea.
DO NOT scold the child inasmuch as you would not scold a child for speaking at a later age! He is not doing it on purpose.
Try to elicit his co-operation & give him responsibility by asking him to change into dry clothes on his own.
Use POSITIVE reinforcement, small gifts for small successes in keeping the child dry. A calendar in the room with stars for dry days may work wonders.
Bed wetting alarms & medicines have a good track record in tackling this problem.
So bottomline in a child above 6/7 years with persistent bedwetting, dont wait, fix up an appointment now!
For more info about baby problems, read more articles at charak clinics

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