When to be concerned about bedwetting
Bedwetting (the medical term is enuresis) is considered a natural part of child development, and children usually grow out of it by the time they are seven years of age. It’s very common (about 13 per cent of six-year-olds wet the bed, while about five per cent of 10-year-olds do) and often runs in families.
“While it can be embarrassing for the child, it’s important to remember that bedwetting is usually not a sign of any deeper medical or emotional issues,” explains Dr. Nick Logarakis, a urologist at The Scarborough Hospital who specializes in children and young adults. “It usually goes away on its own, but it’s important for parents to provide support and positive reinforcement, reassuring your child that it’s a normal part of growing up.”
Dr. Logarakis advises parents to remind their child to go to the bathroom one final time before bedtime, and to restrict fluid intake in the evenings. However, bedwetting that begins abruptly or is accompanied by other symptoms may be a sign of an underlying medical condition, such as a urinary tract infection, constipation, bladder problems, diabetes or severe stress.
Call the doctor if your child:
1. suddenly starts wetting the bed after being consistently dry for at least 6 months
2. begins to wet his or her pants during the day
3. starts misbehaving at school or at home
4. complains of a burning sensation or pain when urinating
5. has to urinate frequently
6. is drinking or eating much more than usual
7. has swelling of the feet or ankles
8. is still wetting the bed at seven years of age