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 are wet.

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 best solution.

Copyright © 2000-. Enuresis Associates LLC All rights reserved. The information provided on is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for specific medical advice and treatment concerning your child's situation. Contact us at 410-209-9705 or 8186 Lark Brown Rd Ste 301, Elkdridge, MD 21075

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