Dr Catherine
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8-15 years

my son is 12 years and bedwet at night. During day time, he is on his way to the toilet here and there. this has affected his school performance because he is usually at toilet during school time

Any form of wetting as children approach the teenage years can be incredibly distressing and can impact negatively on their self-esteem. The first thing to do is separate his daytime from his nighttime wetting. With respect to his daytime accidents the first question to ask is whether this is contextual, that is, does it only happen when he is at school, or does it occur all the time? Daytime accidents can result from underlying physical or emotional causes. Physical causes can be things such as urinary tract infections or an over-active bladder so it is important to rule these out first. Stress can manifest itself in many different ways; some children isolate themselves, other’s act out and engage in aggressive behaviour, while others cry. Ultimately, the more you find out about the situation the better you will be able to rectify the behaviour. For some teenagers the stress can be so overwhelming that professional help may be needed. In the short-term you can try and help prevent the daytime accidents by encouraging him to use the toilet regularly when at school. Speak with his teachers so that they know he needs to be excused from the classroom as soon as he experiences the urge to empty her bladder. In terms of his nighttime wetting the most successful outcomes are associated with the use of conditioning alarms. Conditioning alarms work by ‘training’ your son to learn to wake in response to signals sent from his bladder saying I’m full and need emptying. It is best to speak with a continence advisor before introducing this as the more support you receive the more likely you will experience a positive outcome. All the best,