The Silent Misery
Waking up to a wet bed every morning is not only uncomfortable for a young child but also embarrassing and soul destroying as a child gets older. Children who continue to wet the bed often have low self esteem and frequently miss out on staying over at friends’ houses or going on school camps. Friendship difficulties and poor grades are common and feeling different often creates disharmony in households. A feeling of guilt from the pressure bedwetting exerts on parents with increased laundry and ensuring a child does not smell at school are further complications.
Most children who wet the bed have nothing wrong with their urinary systems and they can become dry in approximately six weeks using the most successful technique available for night time bladder control.
When should a child stop bedwetting?
All children are initially bedwetters but most become dry by the age of five. If a child continues wetting beyond this age professional assistance is usually needed to break the habit. Without assistance 70% of these children will still be wetting at age seven.
Most children become dry at night a few months after they gain day time control.
Approximately 95% of children seen in our Sleep Dry clinics have at least one parent or a close relation who also wet the bed.
Types of bedwetting
All bedwetters are not the same. Primary bedwetters have never been dry. Secondary bedwetters have been dry and begin to wet again often following some emotional event in their lives such as a change of house, starting kindergarten or school, divorce, death of a pet or family member.
A minority of children have unstable bladders, urinary tract infections or other minor abnormalities with their water works.
At what age should you worry?
Our Sleep Dry Clinic has a success rate of 96% in 6 weeks with children aged a mature 5 years of age and older. There is rarely an excuse for any 6 year old children to still be wetting. The advice that children will “grow out of it” is a long wait for many with some children still wetting in their mid teens.
How to help
Restricting fluid and waking a child to go to the toilet at night doesn’t help because neither technique helps with bladder stretching. The most effective technique uses a combination of a mat and alarm that wakes your child when he/she wets at night in conjunction with bladder stretching exercises. After a number of wakenings to the alarm your child learns to waken to the sensation of fullness from the bladder or sleeps through the night from his or her increased bladder capacity.
For a very small number of children this treatment can be used in conjunction with medication for a short period of time or hypnotherapy especially when there are emotional problems.
The Sleep Dry Clinic is staffed by Child and Clinical Psychologists and the higher Medicare rebate is available for your first and only session at the clinic.
Weekly telephone motivational support contact is also made by your psychologist and these sessions plus the hire charges for the Ramsey Coot alarm are usually met by your health insurance fund.
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