- YOU CAN
HELP YOUR CHILD SLEEP DRIER
You're not alone.
nocturnal enuresis, or bed-wetting, is more common than you think.
There are approximately 5 million children age 6 or older in the
United States who suffer from this problem. While most children
outgrow bed-wetting by age 6, and another 15% of older children
stop bed-wetting each year without treatment, for many it can
continue on for years. This can potentially cause embarrassment
and shame that may in turn restrict social interaction and
more, having a child who wets the bed can put a lot of stress on
the family. Night after night of laundry can leave parents feeling
exhausted, not to mention frustrated about how to deal with the
sheets are only part of the problem.
can affect your child's self-esteem. It can make your child
subject to teasing and embarrassment.
limit your child's participation in certain activities -- like
slumber parties, campouts, and summer camp. Since this happens
during the years when children are building friendships and
developing their self-images, it can be of particular concern.
your child to talk about feelings -- and correct any
misconceptions about bed-wetting. Let your child know that
millions of other children also wet the bed.
is no one's fault.
doctors believe there may be a number of reasons why a child wets
the bed, there is one thing about which they agree: It's not your
why it's important not to punish or humiliate your child after an
"accident." However, you may want to teach your child to
take responsibility for remaking the bed and changing into dry
possible reasons for bed-wetting
Bed-wetting has been found to run in families, so if both
parents have a history of bed-wetting, their children will
have a 77 percent chance of wetting the bed. Even if only one
parent wet the bed, a child still has a 44 percent chance of
wetting the bed.
Studies suggest some children who wet the bed don't produce
enough of a hormone at night. This is called antidiuretic
hormone and it helps concentrate urine so that the bladder
beginning any treatment, your healthcare professional will
complete a medical history and physical examination to rule out
specific medical problems as the cause of your child's
the specific cause for bed-wetting might be, it is not usually
caused by serious medical problems
is help for bed-wetting.
changes in your child's routine or behavior may help your child
sleep drier. In addition, there are treatments available. The most
common options your doctor may recommend are listed here.
If your child has a history of allergies, a change
in diet may be beneficial. In addition, consider limiting
beverages after dinner and remind your child to go to the
bathroom before bed.
Bed-wetting alarm devices attach to pajamas and
are activated by moisture. Such products teach a child to wake
upon sensing a full bladder. These, too, may provide help.
One medication commonly used to treat bed-wetting is DDAVP®
(desmopressin acetate). Available as a nasal spray since 1989,
it is available in easy-to-take tablets. Imipramine, in tablet
form, is another pharmacologic treatment option. Be sure to
follow the advice of your doctor or healthcare professional
when using any medication.
with DDAVP Tablets.
doctor may prescribe DDAVP Tablets to help control bed-wetting.
Used as directed, DDAVP Tablets have been proven to reduce the
number of wet nights. Be sure to follow the advice of your doctor
or healthcare professional when using this or any other
studies in patients 6 years of age and older have proven that
DDAVP Tablets help control bed-wetting, enabling children to have
more dry nights. It is important to restrict nighttime beverages
to avoid overloading fluids, which can lead to significant health
consequences. In controlled clinical trials, some patients taking
DDAVP Tablets experienced headache (4% DDAVP, 3% sugar pill).
child experiences any unusual symptoms while taking this, or any
other medicine, be sure to call your doctor or healthcare
- How to
take DDAVP Tablets.
Tablets are small and easy to take. Just follow these simple
sure to take DDAVP Tablets as directed by your doctor.
your child has been using DDAVP Nasal Spray, he or she may
switch to tablets the next night.
Tablets should be taken with a small amount of liquid at
dry nights are achieved, your child should continue to take
DDAVP Tablets as directed.
find out about the DDAVP Tablets Prescription Rebate Program call
Nasal Spray (desmopressin acetate)
DDAVP® has been available as an effective method for
the treatment of bed-wetting in children 6 years and older since
effects reported in patients using DDAVP Nasal Spray include nasal
stuffiness, runny nose, pain in the nostrils, and headaches. These
side effects were reported by fewer than 9% of the patients. If
your child experiences any side effects, be sure to call your
doctor or healthcare provider. If there is nasal congestion, your
child may not absorb the medication. To make sure that blood
electrolyte levels remain normal, your doctor may want to check
your child periodically.
is a tricyclic antidepressant available in tablet form. This
compound's mechanism of action is unknown, but its effect on the
urinary system is thought to be separate from its antidepressant
Do's and Don'ts
- If you
wet the bed as a child, share your experience. Making sure that
your child understands that bed-wetting may be hereditary can
ease your child's anxiety and better help him/her cope with the
- Try to
change your child's habits: Encourage your child to urinate
before going to bed; have him/her avoid foods and drinks
containing caffeine, which can increase the output of urine.
available treatment options with your physician.
punish or belittle your child as it only adds to the child's
embarrassment. Support your child by offering encouraging words.
- Try not
to reward your child for simply achieving dry nights. Instead,
reward your child for compliance with the treatment program
Tips for Parents of Children Who Wet the Bed
bed-wetting can be stressful for children, it's equally frustrating
for their parents. Marc Cendron, M.D., Pediatric Urologist at
Dartmouth- Hitchcock Medical Center in Hanover, New Hampshire, offers
the following practical tips to help the parents of children who wet
deserve an explanation of what is happening to them. Many
children hide the problem and think something is wrong with
them. Children who understand they suffer from a medical problem
will understand they are not to blame.
your child's habits. Start by allowing only two ounces of liquid
after 6 p.m. and avoiding liquids before bedtime. Avoid foods
and drinks containing caffeine, a diuretic. Encourage the child
to urinate before going to bed.
- If your
child has never been dry at night since toilet training, mention
the problem at each annual physical. Some testing may be done to
rule out other medical conditions, such as urinary tract
- If your
child is constipated, treat the constipation first. This
sometimes relieves the bed-wetting problem.
- Parent's Resource Center
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November 14, 2006