Parents are unaware children aged five and over who wet the bed could have a medical condition, a new survey has found.
In a survey of 2,000 parents by Ferring Pharmaceuticals, 70% of parents didn’t know bedwetting could be caused by a medical issue and 81% admitted they were unaware of the causes of bedwetting.
The survey also found just 9% of parents admitted they would discuss the issue with their friends and other parents.
“Due to our reluctance to talk about bodily functions and the lack of publicity and education about bedwetting, many people do not understand that bedwetting is considered a medical condition and that treatment is available,” Davina Richardson, paediatric continence advisor for PromoCon, commented on the findings.
Almost half (46%) of parents surveyed said their children were still wetting the bed by the time they started school.
Ferring Pharmaceuticals have launched World Bedwetting Day in partnership with continence charities ERIC (Education and Resources for Improving Childhood Continence) and PromoCon on 24 May 2016 to educate parents.
According to the NHS, bedwetting in children under five is only really a problem if it begins to bother the child or parents.
“Only rarely will this be considered a problem in children under five years old,” the website states.
“If your child frequently wets the bed and finds it upsetting, speak to your GP for advice.”
The NHS said if the child does have a medical condition, it could be due to the child producing more urine than their bladder can cope with.
Sharon Gibson, ERIC’s helpline coordinator, said if parents are experiencing issues with their child wetting the bed, they shouldn’t panic.
She encouraged parents to reassure their children that they’re not the only ones who have this problem.
“A child in reception or infants’ school will have lots of friends who also wet the bed,” she told The Huffington Post UK.
“If your child is over five and wetting the bed, you should take them to see a health professional, such as a GP or school nurse, so they can check what is causing the bedwetting and suggest appropriate treatment.”
Gibson said there are many causes of bedwetting and it’s not the child’s fault.
“The treatment will vary depending on what’s causing the wetting,” she continued.
“Bedwetting can be caused by too much urine being made at night, a small bladder that can’t hold on to the urine and an inability to wake to full bladder signals.
“Constipation and not drinking enough water can also contribute to the problem.
“You might want to buy some products to protect your child’s bed clothes at night, such as a mattress or duvet protector.
“You can also get things like waterproof sleeping bag liners that can make sleepovers and camping trips less difficult.”
Treating bedwetting can range from using a bedwetting alarm and moisture-sensitive pads, to certain medication including desmopressin or oxybutinin. The treatment plan used depends on the reason the child is bedwetting.
For more guidance on bedwetting, read ‘ERIC’s Guide to Night Time Wetting’. To read guidance and advice from World Bedwetting Day, visit www.worldbedwettingday.com.