If your child wets the bed, it can be traumatic for them and a big worry for you. When will they stop? How can you help? The nature of the subject makes it taboo, but whilst not many mums will talk about it for fear of their child being ridiculed or bullied, bedwetting is actually far more common than you may realise.
Here, the experts and ERIC share some facts and information about bedwetting that show you are most definitely not alone!
- Boys are more likely than girls to wet the bed up to the age of 12 (Su MS, Li AM, et al 2011); but for 12-16 year olds there are proportionally more girls who wet the bed.
- Most children gain day-time control by the age of three, but night-time control takes a little longer. As children get older they are more likely to become dry at night.
- It has been estimated that in the United Kingdom over half a million children between the ages of 5 and 16 regularly wet the bed.
- Studies show that between 21% (NICE, 2010) and 30% of 4.5 year olds, 15.5% of 7 year olds and 9.5% of 9.5 year olds (Butler and Heron, 2008) wet the bed frequently or infrequently.
- 1-2% of teenagers wet the bed (Verhulst, Van Der Lee, Akkerhuis et al., 1985).
- Bedwetting is treatable. Depending on the reason for the cause of the bedwetting different types of treatment are available.
- There are many causes of bedwetting: including a bladder that can’t hold much wee, over-production of urine at night and constipation.
- Bedwetting runs in families; if a child has one parent that wet the bed there is a 40% chance the child will too, if two parents wet the bed the chance rises to 70%.
- Bedwetting can have a serious impact on a child’s self-esteem, emotional well-being and day time functioning, including school and social performance
- One third of parents admit to punishing their children when they wet the bed and others blame themselves in some way.
- Bedwetting is not the child’s fault. It occurs when a child is sleeping and the child has no conscious control over it.
- Events like starting school, the birth of a new sibling, exams and or bullying can delay a child becoming dry at night or can cause bedwetting in a child who had previously been dry.
To find out more, take a look at www.eric.org.uk/Parents