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What is enuresis in children and how to treat it?

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Enuresis (day and night) is an uncontrolled loss of urine by a child. Enuresis is annoying, but it is not a disease, although it can be a difficult problem for children and parents to carry.

Until the age of approximately 12 months, urination occurs when the bladder fills uncontrolled or reflex. Bladder control subsequently develops, usually before age 4.

If urine loss occurs only while the child sleeps and has no symptoms during the day, nocturnal enuresis is called monosymptomatic. In addition, if urine losses have always occurred and have not yet had any dry period is called primary, however, if it occurs after a dry period of more than six months it is considered secondary.

Bladder control is a complex skill. So, many children have delays or alterations in bladder control during their childhood. Stress, emotional events, and sudden changes in life often play an important role. Sometimes an underlying urinary tract infection or constipation is at the root. Enuresis is annoying, but it’s not a disease.


Does it happen often?

Around the age of 3 to 4, 2 out of 3 children have learned to use the bathroom, although the 16th of 5-year-olds still wet their beds. These statistics show that while your child’s enuresis can make you feel worried and isolated, you’re not alone. Children are more likely to wet the bed than is normally estimated.

Children gain bladder control at different ages. While some children can control their urine at age five, others take a little longer. But if the problem persists after age ten, a medical problem can be considered as part of an underlying cause.


How can I recognize it?

There isn’t a single cause why children have urinary incontinence, but if there are some factors that can play a special role:

– Insufficient antidiuretic hormone (HAD) – HAD is the hormone that inhibits urine production. The child’s body may not be producing enough of this hormone.

– Small bladder – The child’s bladder may be too small to hold urine at night.

– Constipation – Long-term constipation can interfere with bladder control, as the same muscles are involved in removing urine and stool.

– Family history – if parents have had this problem, the child is more likely to have it as well.

– Stress – Wetting the bed can be a reaction to stress triggers, traumatic events (in psychology), anxiety, and important events imminent.

– Deep sleep – children who sleep sound are more likely to wet the bed than those who get little sleep.

– Medical causes: Wetting the bed may also indicate more serious medical conditions, such as sleep apnea, urinary tract infections, and diabetes.


How can we help?

Emotional factors of enuresis, which are not overlooked by families and many doctors, are often not taken into account. Enuresis generally negatively impacts a child’s self-esteem, which in turn impacts how the child will relate to other people and their attitude to face the different events of life. Difficulties in generating social ties, insecurity, and shyness are some of the behaviors we can observe in children.

Potty training should begin at a quiet time when the child has dry periods of about 2 hours. Home training preferably begins at the same time as school training. It’s important not to respond disappointed or angry if it doesn’t work right away. If after a week you are still struggling, it is best to stop training for a few weeks and try again then.

A child will remain dry at night only if it is dry during the day for several months. Wetting the bed is not abnormal until 7 years. When he makes progress, don’t forget to congratulate him and encourage him to follow.


How can the doctor diagnose it?

The pediatrician diagnoses enuresis based on a parent’s history, a physical exam, and additional tests, such as a urine test or an ultrasound of the kidneys.

Childhood enuresis treatments

Treatment and cure depend on the cause. In the case of diabetic children, it is very easy, it is treated with insulin. And when they control diabetes, they stop peeing. With the small bladder, a small medical treatment can be performed so that it gradually has a greater capacity and adapts. When the problem is excessive urine production, it can be treated with a medication to make urine production 30 that occurred during the day.

Treatments also vary depending on whether they need help in self-esteem, psychologistic therapy, or other personality tests.

In some cases, if necessary, your doctor may recommend setting a urination alarm. It is important that both the child and the parents are sufficiently motivated for this method. The enuresis alarm consists of a sensor that is placed on the bed or clothing and issues an alert when the sensor gets wet. In this way, the child wakes up and learns to stop urinating. If you use this method, try making the bed with your child and show him how to install the alarm. This way he can understand how it works beside you.

It may also be a good idea to keep a urine diary. This can give you an overview of the number of alarms. If there is no result after 6 weeks with the enuresis alarm, it is best to leave it for a few months.



– Make a consultation with a specialized professional.

– Never penalize, scold, or hold the child responsible for peeing.

– Avoid all kinds of threats such as, for example, “I will tell your friends”, “if you do not stop peeing you will not go to…”.

– Never mock him and his situation. It is not easy to fight daily with the shame of wet sunrise and with the bewilderment of not being able to control it. Ridiculing it can be counterproductive and won’t help you fix your problem.

– You should not feel guilty about your child’s situation, this will negatively affect the whole family.

-Recognize your child’s efforts, encouraging and motivating him or her to continue improving.


All the information we give you in this article is indicative as each child and each family is different and unique.


Carolina González Ramos

Edda Virtual Solutions

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