Skip to content

Daytime Accidental Wetting (Diurnal Enuresis)

Font Size

Topic Overview

Daytime accidental wetting is much less common than bed-wetting. But about 1 out of 4 children who wet the bed at night also wet during the day.1

Knowing the cause of the wetting will help you and your child's doctor decide on the best treatment. Daytime accidental wetting is more likely than bed-wetting to develop after a child has had bladder control for at least 6 months to 1 year (secondary diurnal enuresis). This pattern of wetting is often related to a medical condition, such as an infection or a defect in the urinary tract camera.gif, or emotional stress. Treating the condition will usually stop the wetting. But daytime wetting can be a matter of normal development, with no medical cause.

If daytime wetting begins after a child has had consistent bladder control, consider the possibility that stress, such as the birth of a new sibling, is the cause. Accidental wetting often stops after the stress is addressed and managed. Some children may benefit from seeing a mental health professional.

Daytime wetting as a part of normal physical development

Daytime accidental wetting (diurnal enuresis) is common in younger children. Children may become so involved in play that they forget to go to the bathroom. Also, they may hold on to urine too long. These children:

  • Tend to empty their bladders only 2 or 3 times a day compared with the normal 5 to 7 times a day.
  • Often do not empty their bladders when they first wake up.
  • Often do not empty their bladders completely when they use the bathroom.

Some children have accidental daytime wetting because they try to hold their urine too long. To keep from wetting themselves, children may:

  • Squat.
  • Squirm, cross their legs, hold their thighs together, or use their hands to hold back the urine.
  • Stand very still, looking as if they will wet themselves if they move.

If a child has accidental wetting during the day, it can affect his or her performance in school or friendships. The child may be afraid of wetting at school or on outings. He or she may also be afraid of being teased by friends. Treatment can help the child lead a more normal life and have higher self-esteem.

1|2|3

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 24, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Daytime Accidental Wetting (Diurnal Enuresis) Topics

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

disciplining a boy
Types, symptoms, causes.
psoriasis
What it looks like.
fruit drinks
Eat these to think better.
No gym workout
Moves to help control blood sugar.
acupuncture needle on shoulder
10 tips to look and feel good.
Close up of eye
12 reasons you're distracted.
Epinephrine Injection using Auto-Injector Syringe
Life-threatening triggers.
woman biting a big ice cube
Habits that wreck your teeth.
embarrassed woman
Do you feel guilty after eating?
pacemaker next to xray
Treatment options.
caregiver with parent
10 tips for daily life.
birth control pills
Which kind is right for you?

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.