Wet sheets and soaked pajamas, daily laundry and stained mattresses, are all nothing compared to the embarrassment children often feel when they wet the bed. It is important for them, and for you, to remember that bed wetting is a common occurrence in young children and is not usually cause for concern. Your water bill and constant detergent purchases are usually far more cause for alarm than the actual event. If your little one is wetting the bed frequently or over the age of seven, the caring staff at Advance Health and Wellness could be able to provide treatments and solutions.
Bed-wetting is also known as nocturnal enuresis or nighttime incontinence, and is the result of involuntary urination. Before the age of seven, bed wetting is fairly typical and is not cause for concern. Your child may still be developing nighttime bladder control at this age. While most children are fully potty trained by the age of 5, there is not really a time-line for staying dry after bedtime stories are over and nightlights are on. Though most children will outgrow bed-wetting on their own, some may need intervention. In other, rarer cases, an underlying condition that needs medical attention may be the cause.
There are no exact known causes of continued nighttime incontinence, but a few factors are thought to play a role. They are:
A smaller than normal bladder. Your child’s bladder could simply not be developed enough to hold the urine produced during the night.
Sleep apnea. At times, bed-wetting could signal a condition where breathing is interrupted during sleep, or sleep apnea. This is often due to enlarged or inflamed adenoids or tonsils. Symptoms may also include snoring, sore throat, recurring ear and sinus infections, or drowsiness during the day due to lack of continued rest.
Inability to recognize a full bladder. A full bladder may not wake your child up if the nerves that relay the message to the brain are not fully developed yet. This could be especially true if your child sleeps heavily.
Stress. Often seemingly exciting events like having a new baby brother or sister, sleeping at their grandparents’ house, or starting a new class in school could cause incontinence at night.
A hormone imbalance. Some children do not produce enough anti-diuretic hormones to slow nighttime urine production during early childhood development.
Urinary tract infection. These types of infections may make it more difficult for your child to control their need to urinate. Experiencing daytime accidents, red or pink urine, or painful urination are also symptoms of this.
Chronic constipation. The muscles that control urine also control bowel movements. When constipation is a recurring problem for your child, these muscles can become damaged or worn out, making it difficult to regulate nighttime urination.
Diabetes. When a child is ordinarily dry at night, wetting the bed may be the first symptom of diabetes. Having large amounts of urine at one time, increased thirst, and losing weight even with an appetite, are also signs of childhood diabetes.
A structural problem in the nervous system or urinary tract. Very rarely, nighttime incontinence can be related to a defect in the child’s neurological or urinary system.
Regardless of the causes, your child wetting the bed can be embarrassing for them and stressful or frustrating for you. However, there may be therapies and treatments available with our practice you have not yet tried or thought of.