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Daytime Accidental Wetting (Diurnal Enuresis)

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Topic Overview


When to call a doctor

Daytime accidental wetting may be a normal part of a child's growth and development, or it may be caused by a medical condition. Getting your child's problem evaluated by a doctor is important if there is any chance that a medical condition is the cause.

Call the doctor if:

  • Your child has signs of a bladder or kidney infection, such as:
    • Cloudy or pink urine or bloodstains on underclothes.
    • Urinating more often than usual.
    • Crying or complaining when urinating.
    • Urge to urinate frequently but usually passing only small quantities of urine.
  • Your child is leaking (dribbling) when urinating or has a weak urine stream. The child may have a birth defect in the urinary system.
  • Your child age 4 or older is having daytime accidental wetting and is leaking stool. The child may have stool blocking the intestines, caused by having constipation over a period of time.
  • Your child had bladder control but is wetting again.

Evaluating daytime accidental wetting

If you take your child to the doctor for help with the child's accidental wetting, a medical history and physical exam will be done to discover if the wetting is a symptom of a medical condition. The doctor will ask you and your child questions about the wetting, such as when and how often it happens. As part of the physical exam, the doctor will examine the child's abdomen, rectum, spine, and genital area and may watch the child urinate. Depending on the results of the physical exam, the doctor may do other tests, such as:


If a child has both daytime and nighttime accidental wetting, the doctor may treat daytime wetting first, because children normally gain daytime control over their bladders sooner than nighttime control. Accidental daytime or nighttime wetting may increase after treatment is stopped.


WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
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.
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