Should bedwetting be treated?

The short answer is usually yes, for children over five. However, it depends on your child and your situation. Ask yourself: Is bedwetting an issue for your child? For your family?

Understanding the emotional impact that bedwetting has on your child is very important. If your child is really not worried about it, there is no reason for you to worry either. Bedwetting is seldom a concern for children age five and younger.

However, it usually becomes more bothersome when a child starts school and is increasingly concerned about being “different”and what other children think. A child’s happiness and self-esteem are often negatively impacted. If bedwetting becomes an issue for your child, seeking treatment is highly recommended.

Treating your child’s bedwetting benefits the whole family

  • Happier, more confident child
  • No more teasing or bullying
  • Participation in sleepovers and camps
  • Restful nights and cheerful mornings
  • Greatly reduced family stress
  • Less laundry and no more expensive diapers that end up in landfill
Overcoming bedwetting makes children happy

Don’t wait until you and your child are desperate!

All too often, parents do not seek help or wait much too long. It is not unusual for a physician to see a 14-year-old bedwetter who has never previously sought professional help. Compounding the problem is that some physicians are reluctant to offer treatment.

In some countries, like Sweden, physical examinations are standardized and offered free by the school system. Questions about bedwetting are part of the examination. There, about five times as many children are treated for bedwetting than in Canada and the U.S. Bedwetting is no more prevalent in Sweden, it is simply more in the open than in North America where the problem tends to be hidden and often ignored even by health care professionals.

Why are parents reluctant to seek help?

  • Embarrassment
  • Belief that their child will soon outgrow the condition
  • Use of diapers “solves” the problem of a wet bed
  • Fears about treatment, particularly that physician will prescribe “un-natural” drugs
  • Belief that downplaying the situation will make it less of a deal for the child
  • “Acceptance” that there’s not much that can be done (particularly by parents who were bedwetters )

You are the expert on the impact that bedwetting is having on your child and your family. How many years of bedwetting are you prepared to put up with? If you feel that treatment is the right option, you should not be satisfied with a “do nothing” approach, even when suggested by a physician. Ask your physician to explain the options, and don’t be afraid to insist on treatment or ask for a referral to a pediatrician.

Learn about different treatment options

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