Bedwetting (Enuresis) in Children

Bedwetting or enuresis, is a common problem for school aged children and their families. It affects 5-10% of children under the age of 10 years, somewhat more common in boys than girls, and for some children can continue into teenage years.

What causes bedwetting? Many children naturally become dry over time, but for those who the problem persists, current research has shown the following main contributing factors:

  • The child is difficult to rouse from sleep at night
  • The child has a bladder that is overactive (one that contract too easily with only small volumes of urine)
  • The child’s kidneys produce too much urine at night
  • Genetic tendency – enuresis is often inherited within families
  • Constipation

It is well understood that bedwetting is not commonly a behavioural problem, as children have little control or awareness of their wetting during the night. In very rare cases, there may be an underlying medical problem.

Seeking help for children with bedwetting is recommended if: your child is six years old or more; is frustrated or feeling worried about the wetting – while bedwetting is not harmful, in can cause embarrassment, sense of shame and greatly affect a child’s self-esteem; your child has had wetting accidents and constipation/soiling during the day.

Pelvic Health Physiotherapists with specific expertise in treating children can help your child overcome these problems, addressing toileting issues, fluid intake, underlying bladder and bowel conditions, and guidance in the use of bed alarms, in close consultation with your GP or Paediatric specialist.

See the link to the Continence Foundation of Australia also for further information: