Almost a third of parents of children who wet the bed say their child “misses out” on summer activities such as sleepovers and camping trips according to research published by the Search for a Dry Bed campaign and bedwetting.ie, a website that offers useful information for parents of children who wet the bed.
Of the 404 parents surveyed with children aged 5-12 years who wet the bed, 62% said their child continued to wet the bed regularly when away from home while 14% said their child’s bedwetting actually got worse. Yet only 1-in-10 parents go to their GP to seek help.
New research shows children are not the only ones affected by bed wetting. Over a third of parents say their summer holiday is affected by ensuring their child wears pull ups (37%), having to remember to pack disposable bed mats (36%) and extra supplies (33%). Data shows 14% of parents said they become more anxious that their child will wet the bed during the summer holidays, and they will have to inform others that their child may have an accident.
More than 1-in-5 parents are concerned that their child feels unable to control their problem (23%), is more self-conscious (23%) or embarrassed (17%), and suffers low moods the next morning (15%) as a result of their bedwetting.
Bedwetting usually occurs when children produce a large amount of fluid at night; this is caused by low night-time levels of the vasopressin hormone. Most children who wet the bed have a normal bladder, but some have a smaller capacity to retain urine. Children who wet the bed do not wake to the signals the bladder sends when it is full.
Despite almost half of parents stating their determination to work through this problem, almost a third admitted to feeling embarrassed for their child, while a further 25% acknowledged that they do not tell others about their child’s bedwetting.
“Children who wet the bed can often feel left out during the summer holidays due to their condition, especially when it comes to participating in fun activities like sleepovers and camping. Try to be inclusive and include your child in these types of activities by preparing well for the journey, packing extra supplies and building up their confidence so they don’t feel embarrassed if they have an accident in front of other friends or family members,” Child Psychologist David Coleman explains.
According to Dr Nick Van Der Spek, Consultant Pediatrician at Cavan General Hospital: “Parents admitted to adopting a range of strategies to prevent their child wetting the bed during the summer holidays. The most common methods included restricting children’s drinks late in the evening (63%), not making an issue of it (61%), and praising them when they are not wet (45%). Surprisingly, only 8% of parents interviewed had spoken to their GP about their child’s problem. I would encourage any parent coping with a child who wets the bed to visit their GP, or in some areas their local HSE Public Health Nurse, or bedwetting.ie to seek immediate advice.”
Bedwetting.ie features supports such as a detailed questionnaire for parents to fill in and bring to their GP in order to help determine whether their child needs further treatment, and a ‘Dry Nights Diary’ which parents can use to keep a close eye on any patterns that may be emerging – information which can be very useful when visiting your GP. The site also has an animated video narrated by children, capturing their experience in their own words.
For further information and advice on bedwetting, speak to your GP, local HSE Public Health Nurse, or visit www.bedwetting.ie.