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Why treat children with bedwetting?

NICE recommends that younger children (under 7 years) should not be excluded from the management of bedwetting on the basis of age alone1.

It is important that children suffering with bedwetting are diagnosed early and are offered an appropriate treatment intervention2,3.

Self-esteem is improved by treatment in young children so early intervention is justified4.

It has been suggested that active treatment should be instituted early to prevent psychological consequences and favour the normal development of the child5.

Bedwetting is a significant burden on both children and parents5.


Other studies in the review agree with these findings. The reviews goes onto say one must remember that the accompanying psychological problems may subjectively be just as distressing for parents and children as the wetting problem itself. It is therefore important for all professionals dealing with enuretic children to have a basic knowledge of possible psychological problems – to be able to decide which children require help from other specialists.


Do bedwetting children sleep deeper?

Parents of bedwetting children are almost unanimous in stating that their children are nearly impossible to wake up. Attempts to validate this opinion have however been largely unsuccessful and sleep patterns appear to be perfectly normal in children with bedwetting. Despite a normal sleep pattern, evidence has emerged that children with night-time bedwetting may have an abnormal arousal response to a full bladder.6

NICE CG111, October 2010
NICE CG111 Nocturnal enuresis - the management of bedwetting in children and young people: understanding NICE guidance. October 2010.
Yeung 2006
Yeung CK et al, BJU Intl 2006; 97: 1069-73.
Hjalmas 1997
Hjalmas K. Acta Paediatr 1997;86:919‐22.
Hagglof 1996
Hagglof B et al. Scand J Urol Nephrol 1997;183:79-82.
van Kerrebroeck 2002
van Kerrebroeck PEV. BJU Int 2002;89:420-5.
Butler 2000
Butler R. Scand J Urol Nephrol 2000; 34:270-277.