Bed Wetting: Myths and Facts
Enuresis, more popularly known as bed wetting, is a common condition among children of school age. A bed wetter urinates during sleep, and this happens without knowledge or control of the child. Because of this, many parents find themselves in a stressful and embarrassing situation. As for the child, such condition causes discomfort, sleep interruption, and embarrassment.
Indeed, enuresis has many unpleasant effects on both the child and the parents. But these effects can be minimized if parents do away with all the misconceptions and learn the truth about their children’s condition.
The following are the myths and facts about enuresis that every parent should know:
Myth #1: Bed wetters are too lazy to control their urination.
This assumption is not only inaccurate, but also destructive because it only makes the child feel bad about himself. The truth is, bed wetters have no control over their condition.
Myth #2: Children who wet their bed have emotional or mental problems.
This misconception may have stemmed from the fact that autistic children usually wet their bed. That is not the case in most bed wetters. Although enuresis results in psychological problems such as low self-esteem, these problems do not cause children to wet their bed. But stress and other emotional issues such as divorce of parents or death of a loved one can trigger enuresis in children who previously have had dry nights.
Myth #3: Wearing diapers at night will slow down the process of getting rid of the habit.
Experts say that using diapers does not prevent a child from outgrowing enuresis on his own. In fact, diapers offer some benefits. For the bed wetters, diapers prevent them from getting wet and cold when they wake up. For parents, diapers spare them the burden of changing the bed covers or washing the mattresses frequently.
Myth #4: Fluid intake before bedtime causes enuresis.
Yes, restricting the amount of fluid intake before your child goes to sleep can lessen the volume of urine released during nighttime. However, drinking liquids before bedtime does not cause the child to wet his bed.
Fact #1: Enuresis is hereditary.
If there is a history of enuresis in your family, your child is likely to become a bed wetter. Three out of four children who suffer from the condition have a family history of enuresis.
Fact #2: Some bed wetters have a functionally small (not anatomically small) bladder.
This means these children quickly feel a full bladder, so the urge to urinate is frequent.
Fact #3: Bed wetters find it hard to rouse from sleep, which keeps them from responding to their body’s signal to urinate.
Fact #4: Hormonal imbalance causes enuresis.
Some children lack the amount of anti-diuretic hormone that signals the kidneys to produce less urine while they sleep. The result? More urine at nighttime.
Fact #5: Enuresis may be a symptom of underlying medical conditions.
If your child suffers from bed wetting, it is likely that he may have one or two of the following diseases: diabetes, urinary tract infection, sleep apnea, spinal cord problems, and constipation.
It is recommended that you visit a doctor to have your child checked and to get advice on the possible treatment methods to stop enuresis.