Myth #1 Since most children outgrow enuresis eventually,
simply reassuring the child or parent to be patient is appropriate.
Reassurance alone is a disservice to families. Children over 6
years with nocturnal enuresis deserve information and treatment.
About 13% of 6 year olds have enuresis. Of these, only 15% will
have spontaneous resolution. That means that 85% of the children
with enuresis at age 6 will continue to have it at age 7. 1% of
18 year olds continue to have nocturnal enuresis. Treatment should
be sought when the child is over six and the family is motivated
to help their child become dry.
Myth #2 If the child doesn't tell their parents they
are bothered by their enuresis, they probably don't care if they
NO CHILD WANTS TO WAKE UP IN A WET BED. They are not lazy
they have no control over this. As children reach school-age and
realize their peers don't wear Pull-ups or worry about waking to
a wet bed, their self-esteem and social independence are affected.
By middle school, their age-appropriate activities are sharply curtailed.
All children would rather be dry.
Myth #3 Enuresis is nothing more than a pesky problem
that will eventually go away.
Financially, enuresis impacts families. One or two extra loads
of laundry at $1-2/day is $500-700/year. Good Nights or Pull-ups
at $0.60 each add up to more than $200/year. DDAVP at $4/tablet (with most children requiring 3 tablets/night) quickly adds up, even with co-pays of $10-25/prescription.
Emotionally, enuresis impacts families. Overnight arrangements
are cumbersome - taking along waterproof sheets, Pull-ups, extra
clothing, etc. Hiding enuresis from other family members and friends
is painful. Peers and siblings can be cruel - teasing or humiliating
the affected child.
Myth #4 If a child is a deep sleeper, a bedwetting alarm
won't work for him or her.
Many enuretics do sleep through the loud buzzing of the alarm.
The alarm is for the parents - so they can physically wake the child
and accompany him or her to the bathroom. Alarm conditioning is
sometimes subliminal. The child gradually learns that bladder/brain connection which allows them to wake to a full bladder.
The alarm also plays a big part in positively reinforcing progress
the child has made. Progress is when the child goes from urinating
a large spot several times a night to urinating a small spot near
morning. Even though dryness is not yet achieved, the child can
continue to be motivated as changes are being made.
FACT - Help is available. Children over 6 with enuresis need
treatment and/or referral to a bedwetting specialist. A multifaceted
approach taking into account all the causes of enuresis is your