Bed-Wetting Myths Debunked
What to do and not to do if your child wets the bed.
Don't Blame the Victim continued...
Parents should start looking into formal treatment sometime
between the ages of 6 and 7, according to the National Enuresis Society or
sooner if the child seems troubled by the bed-wetting.
"Older kid are not as likely to outgrow it and these are
the kids that deserve specific help -- whether an alarm, medication, or a
combination," he says. "With help, most kids will be dry within 12
weeks," he says.
I will never sleep through the night again.
If parents like Terry's find themselves setting their own alarm
to wake their children during the night to urinate, they should purchase a
bed-wetting alarm. "They really do work," says Shubin. Enuresis alarms
sound in response to wetness and can be purchased at drugstores for as little
as $60. They have a cure rate of 75%, according to a study published in the
journal Pediatric Psychology. And when combined with medication such
as desmopressin (DDAVP), which acts on the kidneys to reduce the flow of urine,
the urine alarms are even more effective, the study says.
Just don't give up too soon, Greene says. "Many parents
say, 'I tried it for a couple of weeks and it didn't work,' but enuresis alarms
often take up to 12 weeks to make a difference." Be patient.
Before resorting to an alarm or medication, try using a
"star chart," where you give a child a star for every dry night and a
prize for a few dry nights in a row. But "if this doesn't work in two
weeks, it won't and continuing it may only discourage the child," Greene
Behavioral changes too play a role in achieving dryness, he
says. Try decreasing the amount that kids drink before bed. "This will make
a difference and may just be enough for some kids," Greene says. Limit
fluid intake to 2 ounces in the last two hours before bedtime and cut out
caffeine, which is a natural diuretic, he says.
"Kids should not be drinking a lot of soda with caffeine
anyway, but a lot of them do," Greene says.