August 25, 2004
Referred to clinically as Nocturnal Enuresis, bedwetting is not an uncommon problem. While there is a psychological component, this aspect is almost always a reaction to rather than a result of the bedwetting.
Additionally, there is a genetic component. Within the entire population, less than one in 10 children suffer from bedwetting; however, if either parent experienced a problem with wetting the bed during childhood, the chances increase dramatically to one in two.
While most children will out grow it, there are some solutions to help control bedwetting.
Medications, such as Desmopressin and Imipramine, have shown some success. However, their relapse rate is very high.
Dr. Phil suggests using a bedwetting alarm, a simple device that sounds a buzzer when a child starts to wet the bed. It is inexpensive and can be discretely hidden in the bed.
It is important that the child not only gets up and goes to the bathroom when the buzzer goes off, but also helps to change the bed linens at that time. This will ensure that the child is awake enough to realize what is going on.
Over time, this device will help children learn control so that they can go longer periods of time without going to the bathroom and go days without wetting the bed.