The Myths and Facts about Bed Wetting

• Guest post by Hayley from Rainbow Kids Bed Wetting •


What is bed wetting?

Bedwetting, also known as nocturnal enuresis is when the bladder empties while a child is asleep. It’s common, about 1 in every 5 children wet the bed in Australia. It can be distressing for some children and families but luckily there are successful treatments available.

When to seek help

It is important to seek help from a health professional such as a continence nurse as they can properly assess your child and guide them through appropriate treatment. Generally, from the age of 6 is a good time to seek help. Occasionally it is useful to seek help sooner if the child is distressed by wetting and wants to become dry

Common myths

Myth: Children wet the bed on purpose for attention
Fact: Children cannot control wetting, they are asleep & don’t choose to wet or be dry
Myth: Bed wetting is caused by a psychological problem
Fact: Most children wet the bed due to an inability to wake to the sensation of a full bladder, it’s simply a skill they haven’t learnt yet
Myth: Ignoring the problem will make it go away
Fact: Only 15% of bedwetters will spontaneously resolve without treatment per year and this reduces the older the child gets
Myth: Lifting the child to the toilet during the night will train them to wake up
Fact: This is simply a management strategy rather than a long term solution
Myth: Reducing evening fluids will stop bedwetting
Fact: There is no evidence that reducing evening fluids cures bedwetting and many families have tried this without success
Myth: Children don’t care about bed wetting
Fact: Most children don’t like wetting the bed and really want to become dry
Myth: Alarms don’t cure bed wetting
Fact: Bed wetting alarms have a 70% success rate in children if used correctly with the guidance of someone trained in bedwetting management such as a continence nurse advisor. They should only be used if underlying medical conditions are ruled out.
MYTH: Children are not emotionally affected by bedwetting.
FACT: Persistent bedwetting may have a negative impact on normal emotional and psychosocial development. It can cause strong feelings of shame, guilt and failure and a sense of being different to others. Often children who bed wet will avoid social activities that most of us take for granted. Treatment for wetting can lead to an improvement in self-esteem.

Hayley from Rainbow Kids Bed Wetting

Hayley is a Clinical Nurse Specialist and Continence Nurse Advisor with over 18 years nursing experience. She graduated from the University of Technology Sydney in 2002 with a bachelor of nursing and holds a post graduate certificate in continence promotion. She has been a continence nurse advisor for over 9 years and enjoys working with children and their families to conquer bedwetting in a positive, kind and caring manner.
Hayley is the founder of Rainbow Kids Bedwetting which is an in-home advisory service that assists families in the Southern Sydney area with bedwetting issues. She also services the east of Sydney as part of the team at Developmental Paediatrics. She holds a position at St George Hospital as a Continence Nurse Advisor as well as working in private practice in the area of Urogynaecology.
She is a member of the Continence Nurses Society of Australia and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). She keeps up to date with current research and continues professional development on a regular basis.

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