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How to help your school age child cope with bedwetting

Linda Shaw is a general pediatrician with over 30 years of experience with a practice in Altoona, Pennsylvania. The mother of four, she was one of the AAP's breastfeeding coordinators and a member of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine...

Bedwetting blues

Does your school-age child have a problem with bedwetting at night? A pediatrician offers some advice.

Boy sleeping

The question

My 6 year old daughter has a bedwetting problem. I have tried everything from no drinks after 6 to trying to wake her up to go to the bathroom at night. I have given up, and figured she will out grow it and have gotten her Goodnights to wear to bed, but she is now getting raw and irritated. What else can I do? - Tracey, Pennsylvania

The Pediatrician Answers

Bedwetting is quite common in 6-year-old children. Usually, they don't have enough of the hormone that inhibits urine output during the night, and are deep sleepers. Limiting fluids in the evening and waking her up at night to use the bathroom might help some, but these methods are often ineffective. She probably will grow out of it in a year or two.

If it's a serious problem, DDAVP tablets can be effective. It is also necessary to see her doctor to rule out a urinary tract infection or other physical causes of the wetting, especially since she is getting sore. (Other causes of soreness could be bubble bath, pinworms or even sexual molestation.)

Pullups and a good coating of diaper cream at night might prevent the urine from contacting the skin and causing the soreness. Make sure to wash her in the morning to get any urine residue off her skin.

More tips for about kids and sleep

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