Incontinence

Bedwetting, daytime wetting or soiling are a common children issue

Bedwetting, daytime wetting or soiling (doing a poo somewhere other than the toilet) are sometimes called continence problems, and they are common in childhood. It is estimated that 1 in 12 children in the UK between the ages of 5 and 16 experience these problems. If you have concerns about wetting or soiling you can speak to your school nurse or your GP who can complete an assessment and offer further advise accordingly.

Constipation is a common cause for incontinence. If you have any signs or symptoms of constipation, you should contact your GP the same day who can assess you and consider prescribing some laxative medication.

If you experience pain when pooing, notice blood in your poo, need to strain to poo, are incontinent, or are not able to poo, you should contact your GP for a same day assessment.

There are several reasons why children and young people may still wet the bed after the age of five.

Some children may just be slow developers or are not yet able to wake themselves up when their bladders are full.

Children are more likely to wet their bed if they are very tired and sleeping deeply. Some children, who are normally dry, may wet their bed when this happens or when unwell.

Bedwetting is more likely to happen when children drink a lot before they go to bed. Their bladder may not be able to hold all the urine that is produced and empty without them waking up.

For some children, where they have been dry for a period of time, bedwetting can be a sign of emotional distress. They may be experiencing anxiety or stress, or it may be a reaction to major changes in their life (such as when a new baby arrives in the family or when they start school).

Bedwetting may also be caused by constipation, urinary tract infection (UTI) or lack of a hormone called ‘vasopressin’.

Children are more likely to experience bedwetting if one or both of their parents had wet the bed as children too.

If you are worried about day time or night time wetting, you can visit www.eric.org.uk for lots of useful information.