Alphabetic Guide to Child Care - Bedwetting


Enuresis , the medical term for bed-wetting, is the involuntary release of urine, usually during sleep at night. A child who wets his bed recurrently after he has learned to control urination during toilet-training has enuresis. Controlling urination through the night may not occur until after the age of three. About 15 percent of boys and 10 percent of girls are bedwetters at the age of 5; most outgrow it by the time they reach puberty.

Children who are bedwetters should be examined to rule out any physical abnormality in the urinary tract. Obstruction at the neck of the bladder where it joins the urethra or obstruction at the end of the urethra may cause uncontrollable dribbling of urine, but this usually occurs during the day as well as at night. Disease of the nerves controlling the bladder, sometimes hereditary, can cause loss of urine. It can also occur in children who are mentally retarded or mentally ill, or because of an acute or chronic illness. In the latter cases, the problem disappears when the child regains his health.

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