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Children's Health

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Bed-Wetting - When To Call a Doctor

Call your doctor if:

  • Your child has signs of a bladder or kidney infection or other symptoms, such as back pain, abdominal (belly) pain, or fever. Signs of a bladder or kidney infection include:
    • Cloudy or pink urine or bloodstains on underclothes.
    • Urinating more often than usual.
    • Crying or complaining when urinating.
  • Your child age 4 or older is wetting the bed and is leaking stool. The child may have stool blocking the intestines camera.gif, caused by having constipation over a period of time.
  • Your child wets the bed more frequently while you are using home treatment for bed-wetting.
  • Your daughter older than 5 or your son older than 6 has never had bladder control for more than 3 months in a row after trying home treatment, and it is causing problems at school or in the child's relationships with family and friends.
  • Your child who has had bladder control for at least 3 months has begun to wet the bed, and this has happened more than a few times.

If your child wets the bed but has no other symptoms, and you have tried home treatment without success, the doctor can recommend other methods of treatment.

Watchful waiting

Watchful waiting is appropriate if bed-wetting is not affecting how your child is doing with schoolwork or getting along with his or her peers or family. Most children develop complete bladder control even without treatment. Home treatment may be all that is needed to help the child learn bladder control.

Watchful waiting may not be appropriate if bed-wetting starts after a child has had bladder control for a period of time. Look for possible stresses that might be causing the bed-wetting. Bed-wetting may stop when your child's stress is relieved or managed. If it does not, your child should see a doctor. For more information, see:

Bed Wetting: Should My Child See a Doctor?

Who to see

The following health professionals can evaluate and treat bed-wetting:

The following specialist(s) may be required if your child has medical or emotional conditions:

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

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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