New research has revealed the serious impact that bedwetting has on a child’s emotional well-being and everyday life. It also points out that persistent bedwetting in school aged children isn’t a normal development stage; it’s a condition that needs medical treatment.
Persistent bedwetting can cause children to isolate themselves from their friends, miss out on group activities such as sleepovers, and make them want to avoid holidays and overnight trips.
On the other side of the coin, parents of children who wet the bed spend an average one hour a day dealing with the results of the condition – changing sheets, bathing their child, and putting them in clean clothes.
The new research has also shown that bedwetting is not simply a childhood complaint. It is actually a common medical condition that combines bladder dysfunction, the inability to wake up and an over production of urine at night.
Approximately 5–10% of 7 year-olds regularly wet the bed and, left untreated, the problem can continue into teenage and adulthood.
Persistent bedwetting – a medical complaint
Despite the obvious impact bedwetting can have on children, bedwetting is often trivialised or dismissed as a ‘phase’, with many well-meaning parents making lifestyle changes before seeking medical help. This mean children can be left waiting around one to three years before seeing a healthcare professional about their bedwetting problem.
The good news is that once bedwetting is being properly treated, children’s memory, quality of life and over-all wellbeing quickly improve.
Professor Serdar Tekgül, from the Department of Urology at Hacetteppe University, commented: “Often this condition is mistakenly considered part of natural development, and that children usually grow out of it in time.
“Yet this condition is embarrassing, socially and mentally debilitating for the children and extremely stressful for the families. It is time to take action and inform everyone about the availability of different treatment options to stop the suffering of children and their families.”
So if you have a child aged over 5 years who still frequently wets the bed, don’t suffer alone. Make an appointment with your GP and get the help you both need.
You can find more information on childhood incontinence at: Education and Resources for Improving Childhood Continence – ERIC