01 February 2010
Bedwetting is far more common than most people think, but only a third of families affected by the problem actually seek help. Here are some practical ideas on how to tackle this sensitive issue as a family, to not only manage it, but to eventually overcome it.
UnderJams™, a new night time pant to help families manage bedwetting, has joined forces with ERIC, the only national charity that exists to support families with children’s continence problems in the UK.
Affecting more than half a million children between 4 – 12 years old, bedwetting can cause great stress not only for the child, but for their family as well. Worried parents should always remember that they and their children are not alone, that there are many ways to improve the situation and many health professionals who can help them overcome the problem; such as your GP, school nurse, health visitor, and of course the charity ERIC. You can also check if there is a bedwetting clinic in your area too.
Always remember - bedwetting is never your child’s fault. Children have no conscious control over their bladder when they are asleep. When they wet their bed it is not intentional or because they haven’t been toilet trained properly, so try to be patient.
Find out what’s wrong
It can be very hard to figure out what’s contributing to your child’s bedwetting problem, especially when they can’t or don’t want to talk about it. Having your child assessed by a health professional will help to determine the cause of the bedwetting so that appropriate treatment can be offered. This will help you to overcome the problem and not just manage it. Keep in mind that certain common factors can trigger a bedwetting episode, like starting school or moving house. Also remember that it is best to try to sort out the problem when your child is ready and motivated to become dry at night.
Reassure and involve your child – don’t stop talking about the problem
Tell your child that they are not alone with the problem and that there are things they can do to help. By involving your child in managing the problem, you can reward them for doing the things that s/he can take responsibility for, like visiting the toilet before bed and helping to change the bedding. This will empower them and build confidence in their ability to eventually overcome the problem.
Top tips to remember throughout the day
• Your child should drink about 6-8 water-based drinks spread evenly throughout the day with a smaller one about 1½ hours before bed time.
• Fizzy drinks, tea, coffee and some other drinks can make the situation worse, so try experimenting by keeping a record of what they drink every day. Involve your child in this activity and try to make the decision together to avoid the things that make a difference.
• Encourage your child to go to the toilet throughout the day and help them to remember to visit the toilet last thing before settling down for bed time.
• Leave a soft light on at night and a clear path so that your child can easily get to the toilet.
If you have tried all of the above and are still experiencing problems, an assessment at a clinic can help to decide the best way to treat it. Your school nurse or GP will know where your nearest clinic is and at what age they see children.
To find out more about Underjams pyjama pants, visit http://www.pampers.co.uk/underjams-pyjama-pants-girl
For more information visit ERIC – Education and Resources for Improving Childhood Continence.