Bed-wetting is a disease where a child while sleeping is not aware that he wets the bed. This disease is known as nocturnal enuresis. This problem can happen every night or just 1-2 nights every week. This disease has been defined by the psychologists of the American Psychiatric Association as repeated urination into the clothes or bed. According to them any child till the age of 5 may face the problem of bed-wetting.
However, if the problem persists beyond that age then it requires medical attention. This problem of bedwetting is not considered to be any side effect of drugs. In fact most medical practitioners refuse to treat this as a serious problem until the child is around seven years old and they are of the opinion that even a normal child can wet his/her bed if he/she is over tried.
The most common cause of bed-wetting is the delay in the neurological development. In this case the development of the normal way of controlling the bladder function by the brain is delayed. However, some children face the problem of bed-wetting as the development of the ability to stay dry is delayed in them. These children do not face any development problems.
Genetics is considered to be another reason for bed-wetting. Researches have shown that if a child has non enuretic parents, then there are 15% chances of him to suffer from this disease. However, if either one or both parents of a child are enuretic, then the chances may be as high as 77%. However, the other reasons responsible for this disease are anxiety, constipation, and stress, infection of the urinary tract, and at times, kidney failure or diabetes.
Another common cause that is behind bedwetting is the minimal production of antidiuretic hormone which is responsible for reducing the kidney’s output well into the night so that the bladder doesn't get full until morning. Significantly this hormone cycle is not present in the birth. Some children develop it between two and six years old while the others between six and the end of puberty. Insufficient production of this hormone might cause bedwetting.
The most common symptom of bed-wetting is wetting the bed while sleeping. The child when he/she wakes up finds the bed to be wet. This often causes distress to the child. Other symptoms of this disease may include pain during the passing of urine. The pain may occur due to some kind of infection.
Bed wetting , known as nocturnal enuresis in medical terms is of two types, primary enuresis and secondary enuresis. Primary enuresis happens when a child crosses the age by which the normal bladder control should start. During this stage the child on an average wets the bed 2 nights every week. Besides, the child is not capable of staying dry unless he is taken by another person to the toilet.
Some doctors consider primary nocturnal enuresis faced by a child within the age of 4-5 as a clinical condition. In this case the child does not have any medical, urologic or neurological abnormality. Secondary nocturnal enuresis happens if a child passes through a complete dryness period nearing about 6 months during night and after that he/she starts wetting the bed. Secondary nocturnal enuresis is often caused because of stress. Besides, certain medical condition, like bladder infection can also cause this disease.
Bed-wetting treatment cannot be started before the child reaches the age of seven. Parents should consult a doctor to find out the steps to treat this problem. However, parents can explain and reassure the child of the problem in order to prevent the child from getting distressed. It is advisable not to go for allopathic medicine while treating this problem.
Often the parents seek the help of a continence adviser who tells the parents means to overcome the problem. It is a must that the parents should be patient with these children and should not punish them for bed-wetting. A better solution to the problem is to take proper steps like covering your bed with a waterproof sheet. An excellent suggestion is to create a star chart where the child can speed up his/her progress.
However it is advisable not to speed up the process of bladder control. Many parents try the alarm can that seeks to condition the child into getting up at night to pass urine. In most cases however this is not successful and one in three children relapse after a few months.