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A new report has revealed that one third of children feel anxious about attending sleepovers because they wet the bed, while almost half of parents (46 per cent) reveal their child is still wetting the bed when they start school.
In the survey published by Ferring Pharmaceuticals as part of National Bedwetting Awareness Day (24 May), just 10 per cent of the 2,000 parents surveyed said that they would feel personally embarrassed if their child wet the bed, while only nine per cent of those surveyed said they would discuss this with their friends and other parents.
For children over the age of five, wetting the bed during sleep is recognised as a genuine medical condition and can be treated, yet 21 per cent of parents said they thought their child would try and hide it if they wet the bed out of personal embarrassment.
Ferring Pharmaceuticals have partnered with ERIC -the children’s incontinence charity and PromoCon to help educate parents that if their child is wetting the bed after their fifth birthday, they could be recognised as having a medical condition.
Paediatric continence advisor for PromoCon, Davina Richardson explained: “Bedwetting causes huge embarrassment and distress for children, young people and their parents, making it difficult for them to seek help. Due to our reluctance to talk about bodily functions and the lack of publicity and education about bedwetting, many people do not understand that bedwetting is considered a medical condition, when children are five years or older, and that treatment is available.
“As children get older the social implications increase, with them avoiding sleepovers, school residential visits and Cub, Scout, Brownie and Guide camps, due to fears of bullying or name calling. There is also a negative impact on their self-confidence and self-esteem, with children and families feeling very alone. Those affected should be offered a comprehensive bladder and bowel assessment, by a suitably qualified healthcare professional and supported throughout treatment.”
More than 70 per cent of parents are unaware of this, while a further 28 per cent said they would dismiss it as a natural part of growing up with 81 per cent of parents saying they were unsure of what even causes their child to wet the bed in the first place.
Wetting the bed could be more detrimental to child development and well-being than just personal embarrassment as nearly 30 per cent of parents revealed that their child would not want to take park in school trips or social activities if they wet the bed. Almost one quarter of parents believe that bedwetting could have negative impact on a child’s confidence while at school.
Paediatric continence specialist at PromoCon, June Rogers added: “Bedwetting has a number of causes, including too much urine being produced at night, a problem with the bladder being able to hold on to the urine and an inability of the child to wake up to any full bladder signals. There may also be other contributing factors, including not drinking enough or an underlying problem with constipation.
“We also know that bedwetting can be very stressful for both the child and their family so for all these reasons it is important that all children with bedwetting are seen by a healthcare professional and undergo a comprehensive assessment to try and determine the cause of the bedwetting and then introduce treatments as appropriate.”
National Bedwetting Awareness Day aims to highlight the impact that bedwetting can have on children and raising awareness of bedwetting in children over five being a medical condition.
For more information on bedwetting, visit: www.worldbedwettingday.com.