Bedwetting or primary nocturnal enuresis is a medical condition that refers to intermittent episodes of wetting the bed while a child is asleep. Although children develop bladder control at different ages, most boys can control their bladder by the age of 4, and most girls by the age of 5. When a child who is old enough to control his or her bladder during the day and night urinates accidently on a regular basis, it is called bedwetting.
Bedwetting in children under the age of four isn’t usually a problem unless the child is upset by it. By identifying and treating nocturnal enuresis at an early stage, the impact of bedwetting can be minimized.
How Bedwetting Affects Children and Teens
Bedwetting effects on the psychological health and social life of both sufferers and their families. Half of the children who suffer from bedwetting report being teased by their siblings and peers.
Children who suffer from daytime symptoms experience greater distress and have lower self-esteem than those who wet at night only. A study conducted in primary school-aged children found that self-esteem in children who wet their bed was much lower than in children who did not. In another study which compared the stress of significant stress events in a child’s life, the stress that a bedwetting child feels is comparable to that of parental fights and divorce.
An English study which looked at the social impact of bedwetting in children has revealed that children who suffer from bedwetting are less likely to participate in social activities including sleepovers, school camps, and family holidays for fear of wetting the bed. Bedwetters also worry that their bedroom may have odor of urine, preventing them from inviting their friends and relatives to their room. This social isolation can have a negative impact on the overall development of a child.
In some cases bedwetting may extend to teen years. Teenagers with nocturnal enuresis may be reluctant to discuss their problem with their parents or a health care provider, which often impacts their self-esteem, confidence, and participation in activities. Bedwetting can also lead to behavior problems in teenagers because they feel guilty and embarrassed. Teenagers suffering from bedwetting may have trouble paying attention in class and exhibit poor self-image, leading to lower academic performance and social skills than their peers.
How Bedwetting Affects Families
The stress and frustration of bedwetting also impact families. A bedwetting child’s family also faces an abundance of emotions ranging from embarrassment to outright anger. Often parents are hesitant to speak to a health care professional who may be able to recommend treatment. Some parents don’t seek help because they believe that they must wait for their child to grow out of it, which ultimately worsens the problem. According to a study that has been conducted in the U.S. to look at the impact of bedwetting on the quality of life of children and their parents found that parents especially mothers of bedwetting children had a higher state of anxiety score and lower relative quality of life. After treatment for nocturnal enuresis, the mothers’ scores for both anxiety and quality of life were statistically improved.
What is Bedwetting?
Bedwetting affects five to seven million children in the U.S. Find out all about bedwetting—its types, causes and impact on children.Read More
Bedwetting in Children
Many children suffer from bedwetting. Though it is stressful and frustrating, bedwetting is common and treatable.
Impact of Bedwetting
Bedwetting impacts both the children and their families in many ways. Find out how bedwetting impacts families and what you can do to better manage bedwetting.Read More
Types of Bedwetting Alarms
Bedwetting Alarms is one of the most effective treatment options. Compare different types of alarms and their unique features here.Read More
Dealing with a bedwetting child is challenging. Here are some ideas to help you manage bedwetting better.
How Bedwetting Alarms Work
There many bedwetting alarms available today that can stop bedwetting. Find out how different alarms work to treat bedwetting.Read More
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