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Cause for Concern?

In an otherwise dry child, bed-wetting is not a cause for concern. It's only a stage in your child's development. After the age of 7, however, you might want to explore the best way to help your child wake up dry. There are many tools available to aid this process such as moisture alarms, medications, and bladder training. Get your child to the doctor for a checkup and consult on the best way to handle your child's bed-wetting.

Lots of Theories

Most kids train between the ages of 2-4, but 40% of preschoolers wet the bed. By the age of 5, this figure drops from 10%-15%. Researchers aren't really sure what causes bed-wetting, but there are lots of theories. Here's an overview of the major causes of nighttime enuresis (bed-wetting):

Small bladder-Your child's bladder may not be big enough to hold all the urine he produces during the course of the night.

Immature nerves-Your child's nervous system may not be developed enough to sense when his bladder is full during sleep. Deep sleepers find it very difficult to note a full bladder during sleep.

Hormonal imbalance-Some kids don't have enough anti-diuretic hormone-ADH, which helps to slow the production of urine during the night.

Stress-Stressful situations, like going to sleepaway camp for the first time, can trigger nighttime voiding.

Infection-A urinary tract infection can cause nighttime wetting. Symptoms include frequent or painful urination, daytime or nighttime wetting accidents.

Sleep disturbances-Sometimes a sleep disturbance such as sleep apnea may be present and this can be a cause of bed-wetting. Sleep apnea is disturbed breathing during sleep, most often due to enlarged tonsils or adenoids. Sore throat, sinus and ear infections, and snoring, in addition to wetting accidents during the day or night are sometimes a sign of sleep apnea.

Diabetes-Sudden bed-wetting may be the first sign of type 1 diabetes which may also cause the passing of large amounts of urine, increased thirst, weight loss and constant tiredness.

Constipation-There's a connection between not having bowel movements and difficulty in voiding urine which may in turn cause inadvertent nighttime wetting.

Physical Defect-In rare cases, a child may have a neurological or urological defect that causes a tendency for bed-wetting.

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