For far too many children, night-time sweet dreams turn to morning nightmares when they wake to find soaked sheets. May 29th is World Bedwetting Day, so let’s throw back the covers on this common, yet often unmentioned childhood condition.
Bedwetting – or nocturnal enuresis to give it its medical name – is the involuntary leaking of urine while sleeping. Most children achieve full bladder control by the age of five, but for 20% of them, bedwetting remains an embarrassing reality that will dog them even into their teenage years and beyond. And the older the child gets, the lower the odds are that his or her bedwetting will stop without help.
THREE IMPORTANT BEDWETTING FACTS
If your child still wets the bed, here are three things you need to know about bedwetting.
1) Your child isn’t just being naughty or too lazy to get up at night.
Bedwetting is a medical disorder over which your child has no control, a disorder which is often inherited from a parent who also wet the bed. In fact, it’s the most common chronic childhood disorder after allergies, affecting children right up into their teens (and even into adulthood in some cases).
2) Bedwetting is treatable.
In the vast majority of cases, bedwetting has a physical, treatable cause, the most common being an overactive bladder, an over-production of urine at night, or a reduced ability to wake to bladder stimulation.
3) If left untreated, bedwetting can have serious consequences.
Bedwetting causes feelings of shame, guilt, anxiety and embarrassment that can damage a child’s self esteem, leading to isolation and problems with their performance both socially and at school.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Bedwetting is involuntary, so don’t punish or shame a child who wets the bed. Instead, reassure him or her that it was just an accident.
- Consult your family doctor or paediatrician early. While most children will outgrow the condition with time, having the right treatment can save you and your child years of unnecessary suffering. While bedwetting is normal in early childhood, you should consult your doctor if your child is over five and still wets the bed, or if your child starts bedwetting after previously being dry at night.
- Invest in a good quality mattress protector to make clean-ups easier, and protect your child’s mattress from stains and smells. Look for a brand that has a 100% waterproof layer that won’t crinkle or rustle, or make your child hot and sweaty at night. Choose a fitted-sheet style for easy changing, and ensure it is fully machine washable.
Protect-A-Bed mattress protectors tick all these boxes. Available in all mattress sizes from cot to king, Protect-A-Bed mattress protectors are lined with a whisper-quiet fabric called Miracle Membrane. This lining is completely waterproof yet breathable, ensuring a cool and comfortable sleep. They’re also machine washable and tumble-dryer friendly, so they can be quickly returned to your child’s bed, ready for another night’s duty.