Helping patients to manage bedwetting

children child bedwetting

The Nocturnal Enuresis Resource Kit is now available ahead of World Bedwetting Day on 29 May

The 2nd edition of the Australian Nocturnal Enuresis Resource Kit is now available to help deal with bedwetting in children and young people.

Experts say that that bedwetting is often dismissed as simply a phase that will resolve itself of its own accord when in reality it often requires a targeted approach and management strategies.

“There is a common assumption that bedwetting resolves spontaneously. However, the impact of bedwetting on those who continue to experience nocturnal enuresis is often ignored. Bedwetting can significantly impact sleep quality, self-esteem, emotional wellbeing and daytime functioning, both at school and socially. This stigmatising condition is often not talked about, as children are usually very embarrassed about it, leading to feelings of shame, guilt, and helplessness,” says report co-author, paediatrician Associate Professor Patrina Caldwell.

“We know there are delays diagnosing and treating nocturnal enuresis. Patients and their families require support throughout the treatment journey. Healthcare professionals sometimes need additional help to support their patients, particularly when initial attempts at treatments fail.

“The Nocturnal Enuresis Resource Kit is designed to offer this support, by providing current and relevant information on nocturnal enuresis management and how to address the challenges and barriers that may present,” says Associate Professor Caldwell.

The risk of bedwetting increases if the child’s mother, more so than their father, experienced had it as a child.

As many as 20% of children continue to wet the bed at five years of age, while bedwetting at night is common in boys and affects as many as 10% of 10 year olds, and is considered common in children aged five and older.

Continence Foundation of Australia CEO, Rowan Cockerell, Melbourne, believes the common assumption that children will always simply outgrow bedwetting needs to be addressed.

“Bedwetting is commonly overlooked as a simple condition that a child will eventually outgrow. However, the growing body of evidence suggests nocturnal enuresis is a complex disorder involving several factors, such as difficulty arousing from sleep, urine over-production during sleep, and bladder dysfunction.        

“The impact of nocturnal enuresis is often under-estimated and trivialised, so help is neither sought, nor offered. Bedwetting children may be reprimanded by their parents, which can compromise their mental wellbeing and personal development,” said Ms Cockerell.

“Many parents initially resort to lifestyle changes, while almost half fail to seek help for children aged five years.

“The Continence Foundation of Australia offers free resources and support to patients, carers and healthcare professionals to assist with the treatment of [childhood] nocturnal enuresis, including the National Continence Helpline on 1800 33 00 66, staffed by continence nurses,” Ms Cockerell said.  

Head to to download a copy. 

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