Enuresis , bed-wetting as we call it, is involuntary passing of urine, especially at night. It is quite normal for infants and small children to wet their beds, but most bed-wetting stops by the age of three years. In some children, however, it may persist into teenage and occasionally into adult life. Excessive water drinking is a contributory factor. The disorder is usually functional in nature, though sometimes an organic cause is at the root of the problem.
Children suffering from enuresis are usually shy, sensitive and gloomy. These nervous manifestations result from their reaction to the condition, or they may be part of a behaviour pattern of which enuresis is one of the symptoms. A child may feel neglected and attempts to attract and focus attention upon himself by wetting his bed.
Organic causes, though uncommon, need to be excluded by your doctor, particularly if bed-wetting occurs during the day also. They are: urinary tract infections, urethral irritation, hard faecal scybellae due to unrelieved constipation, mental deficiency, epilepsy, etc.
Treatment of Enuresis
It is important that too much concern and any type of censure are avoided; they make the child apprehensive and aggravate the problem of enuresis. If an abnormal behaviour pattern is present, it should be attended to by a child psychologist.
Excessive drinking of water and other fluids in the evening and at night should be avoided by the child.
The child should be awakened once or twice in the night and, when fully awake, taken to the bathroom to fully empty the bladder. As improvement is noticed, the number of awakenings may be reduced. Raising the foot end of the bed may also help in decreasing enuresis.
The electronic bell and pad is a psychological method of treating bed-wetting. When the child starts to pass urine, it is detected by the sensor in the pad and this sets off a bell or buzzer, which wakes up the child. He then empties the bladder fully. A process of conditioning leads to his learning to be dry. The simple method of awakening the child to prevent enuresis, described above, is probably equally effective, though cumbersome for the parents.
Imipramine (Depsonil) in small doses at night may be useful in treating enuresis, but it should not be given below the age of 6 years, and at least monthly leucocyte counts of blood are necessary. Ask your doctor if it can be given to your child.