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It is common for children to wet themselves. It is estimated that most children stop bedwetting at the age of 5 and stop daytime wetting at the age of 6. But many children can stop earlier than that. And some children will stop later. Wetting your pants as a schoolchild is often both embarrassing and annoying, but there is help to be had.
Children who suddenly start wetting themselves again
If a child who is dry, starts wetting themselves again, it may be due to several things. If they also seem thirsty and pees a lot, then you need to take them to the medical center. Increased thirst and urination are symptoms of early stages of diabetes. A urine sample shows whether there is sugar in their urine. If there is sugar in their urine, go directly to the children’s emergency room. If there is no sugar in their urine, you can relax – it is not diabetes.
How often does your child go to the bathroom?
A lot of kids wet themselves because they have been holding on all day. It is common for children to feel uncomfortable with the toilets at preschool or school. Some children may not mind the toilets, but are so committed to what they are doing that they forget to pee. When a child holds onto their pee, their bladder becomes tense and overfull. Sometimes a few drops seep out. And when your child really cannot last any longer, then they will have to let it go. An overfull bladder is also more easily affected by urinary tract infection, which can also lead to leakage.
Many children find tricks to hold on
Many children whose bladder becomes full quickly, often find tricks to hold on. Girls sit on their heels so it presses against the vagina and thus holds back the impulse to pee. Boys can often hold onto their penis with their hands in their pockets. This isn’t good. It’s true that children can postpone the toilet run, but this will affect the normal functioning of their bladder.
First stage of treatment: pee plan!
The first stage of treatment is a peeing schedule. Your child should go to the toilet and try to pee every three hours. That is, approximately at every meal / snack. Find times that match the child’s fixed routines. Help the child remember. Talk to teachers/recreational educators about helping your child remember in preschool/school/at leisure time.
Second stage of treatment: constipation treatment
Peeing and pooping go hand-in-hand. Many, many children who wet themselves are constipated. I prescribe constipation treatment to the vast majority of children who wet themselves. If you want to try it at home, you can give Lactulose, which is available without a prescription at the pharmacy.
Schedules and lactulose isn’t helping – seek a pediatrician
If a pee schedule and lactulose does not help in a few weeks, seek a pediatrician. There’s more help to be had! Often referrals from a health centre are needed. The pediatrician often has a specialist paediatric nurse and, if you are extra lucky, a pediatric urotherapist. The latter are rare birds, unfortunately, so don’t count on it.
The pediatrician examines the child, and the nurse lets the child urinate on a special toilet with a meter that can show whether the child’s bladder is overactive, underactive or functioning normally. The nurse also checks if the child can empty their bladder.
Depending on the results of the investigation, there are different methods to try. If the child urinates at night, there are bedwetting alarms which are effective, but very demanding for the family.
A gold mine of information about children and peeing, is the Swedish Enuresis Academy’s website. We don’t visit the website for it’s design, but for their excellent information!