Enuresis

Certain words such as “bedwetting” and “urinary incontinence” may be more common terms that have been associated with enuresis.

The question remains, what is enuresis?

Enuresis is involuntary or intentional repeated urination by a child age 5 or above in their bed or clothes. The behavior must occur at least twice a week for 3 consecutive weeks or cause and/or present distress or impairment in social, academic, or other areas of functioning. It cannot be attributable to the effects of a substance or another medical condition.

    There are three subtypes of enuresis: diurnal only, nocturnal only, and diurnal and nocturnal enuresis.
  1. Diurnal only: The subtype of enuresis only occurring during the daytime and is more common in females.
  2. Nocturnal only: The most common subtype of enuresis only occurring at nighttime and usually during the first one-third of the child’s night. Also found to be more common in males.
  3. Diurnal and nocturnal enuresis: The subtype of enuresis occurring both during the day and night times.

How common is enuresis?

The prevalence of enuresis in children aged 5 is 5-10%, 3-5% among 10-year-olds, and around 1% among individuals aged 15 years and above (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).

What can cause enuresis?

  • Poor bathroom habits such as not emptying the bladder completely or waiting too long to empty the bladder.
  • Constipation can put pressure on the bladder.
  • Changes in the child's environment.
Helpful tricks:
  • Create a routine depending on when enuresis occurs.
  • Assure the child is eating a balanced and healthy diet rich in fiber and assure that the child is drinking lots of fluids.
  • Breathing techniques can help the child relax when in the bathroom.
  • Punishment is not an effective method and should be replaced with positivity and support.
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