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Preface and Contents

Bedwetting in Children

Introduction and Risk factors

Bedwetting or involuntary passing of urine during sleep is quite common in children. In most cases it spontaneously resolves without any treatment as children grow up. However it is still worrisome for the children and their families because it causes inconvenience and embarrassment. It is not due to kidney disease, laziness or naughtiness of children.

What percentage of children suffers from bedwetting and at what age does it normally stop?

Bedwetting is common especially under the age of 6 years. At the age of 5 years, bedwetting occurs in about 15 to 20 % of children. With increasing age, there is a proportionate decrease in the prevalence of bedwetting: 5% at 10 years, 2% at 15 years, and less than 1% in adults.

Which children are more likely to suffer from bedwetting ?

  • Children whose parents have had the same problem in childhood.
  • Those with delayed neurological development which reduces the child’s ability to recognize a full bladder.
  • Children with deep sleep.
  • Boys are affected more often than girls.
  • Increased psychological or physical stress may be the trigger.
  • In a very small percentage of children (2%-3%), medical problems such as urinary tract infection, diabetes, kidney failure, pin worms, constipation, small bladder, abnormalities in the spinal cord or defect in the urethral valves in boys, are responsible.
Bedwetting at night is a common problem in young children, but it is not a disease.