Enuresis is the scientific name for incontinence or involuntary passing of urine. When this occurs at night the condition is referred to as nocturnal enuresis or simply bedwetting enuresis. Usually by the age of six most kids have learned how to control urination both during the day and at night but nearly 20% of all children will take longer to control their bladders at night, especially boys.
Occasionally bedwetting will persist long after age six. Another phenomenon is a completely toilet trained child who suddenly begins bedwetting again. These cases of bedwetting enuresis may have either underlying physical causes or in some cases the bedwetting can be caused by an emotional strain.
For starters there is a genetic connection. If a child had a parent who was a long term bedwetter then it is likely that the child will have the same condition. Diabetes, kidney disease or chronic constipation can also contribute to bedwetting.
Psychological stress such as the loss of a loved one, or a move, or a divorce can also trigger bedwetting. Bedwetting is very common among children who have been sexually abused.
A trip to your doctor’s office can rule in or out physical causes for the condition. If there is no apparent physical reason for bedwetting, then the best thing is simply be as supportive as possible without making a big deal out of it with your child.
One way to take some of the stress out of bedwetting enuresis is by using incontinence products like mattress covers. Today’s covers are designed not only to protect the mattress but to wick away the fluid and keep your child’s skin dry and rash free. It also obviously eliminates waking up in the morning and needing to replace all sheets and washing the mattress. With a little patience and persistence you can help your child through it.