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Daytime Incontinence in Children and Ways to Stop Daytime Wetting

Daytime Incontinence in Children and Ways to Stop Daytime Wetting

August 22, 2019

Despite, most children having control of their bladder by the age of four, daytime wetting (also known as diurnal enuresis) in children is pretty common. According to the children’s bowel and bladder charity, ERIC, “one in seven children aged four and one in twenty children aged nine are affected”. Daytime wetting can range from damp patches in their underwear to completely emptying their bladder and wetting themselves.

In this blog, SpecialKids Company will tell you some of the causes of daytime wetting as well as day wetting solutions.

Why do Children Wet During the Day: 

Most wetting occurs because the bladder is not working normally.

Most common problems are:

  • Overactive bladder - this occurs when the bladder has problems storing urine. The child has urgency and may leak urine on the way to the toilet. A sign of this is when they go to the toilet excessively more than eight times per day.
  • Under-active bladder - this is when a child goes to the toilet infrequently and sometime urine escapes without any warning as the bladder overfills  Urinary tract infection is common in these cases.
  • Leakage - this can occur if the child is in the habit of putting off going to  the toilet and wets when the bladder is overfilled.
  • Incomplete emptying of the bladder - some children may not fully empty  their bladder which can also lead to wetting. 
  • Day Wetting Solutions: 

    bedwetting daywetting specialkids


    1. Consult Your GP

    Incontinence in children who have special needs can sometimes be due to an underlying medical condition. If your child wets themselves during the day, you should always seek advice from your GP in the first instance. Your GP can carry out the necessary tests and refer your child to the continence service who can provide support and, if appropriate, products such as nappies and other incontinence solutions.

    2. Make Sure That Your Child Drinks Enough

    It’s not surprising that some parents believe that drinking too much can cause daytime wetting, however, not drinking enough can actually be the reason that a child wets themselves. The bladder is a muscle and needs to be used in order to function properly and keep healthy. Drinking lots throughout the day is essential in order to fill and empty the bladder. Not drinking enough means the bladder will not learn to expand and hold fluid. This in turn, will cause a child to have the sensation of frequently needing to pee.

    Water is the best drink for children to have. It is worthwhile cutting out fizzy drinks or drinks with artificial flavourings, colourings and sweeteners as well as caffeine as they can irritate the bladder. If your child has these, you should try to cut them out and gradually re-introduce them to see what impact they have on their bladder.

    3. Does Your Child Have A UTI?

    Not drinking enough can also irritate your bladder enough to cause a UTI, which can lead to daytime wetting. Symptoms of a bladder infection include a tummy ache, feeling sick, pain when urinating, cloudy pee and smelly pee. If you suspect your child has a UTI, consult your GP who can carry out a urine test to determine whether they do or not. If they do, antibiotics will be provided.

    4. Check That Your Child Isn’t Constipated

    It may seem strange to think that constipation can cause daytime wetting, but it actually makes perfect sense. A bowel full of stools can push against the bladder and squash it, causing your child to pee little and often. This is because the bladder is unable to expand fully and as such, cannot hold urine. 

    Signs of constipation include pooing less than four times a week, an inconsistent toileting routine, painful poos, runny poos and small poos (a bit like rabbit droppings). Poo marks in underwear is also a sign. Consult your GP if you think that your child is constipated. They can provide advice and, if necessary, medication. 

    5. Try a Vibrating Watch

    If your child forgets to go to the toilet and has daytime wetting accidents there are vibrating watches available which can remind them to go to the toilet. You can find some on the ERIC website here.

    6. Be Supportive

    It’s so important not to be firm with children who have urinary incontinence. They cannot control the issue so it will not help at all. You can support them by ensuring that they have the correct products and that they are aware that it is not their fault or something that they should feel guilty or embarrassed about. Try and support your child with the best possible solutions to make them feel as comfortable as possible. The right adaptive clothing and incontinence underwear can help.

    Incontinence products, such as changing mats, bed covers and swim suits with built-in incontinence underwear can be found on our website.

    The charity ERIC has a free helpline where you can seek advice: 0808 169 9949

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