How Much Should Bedwetting Children Drink Before Bed

More Success with Bedwetting Alarm When Evening Fluids Are Increased

A recent new study from Russia suggests that children who drink extra fluids before bed while using a bedwetting alarm are actually more successful in achieving dryness. This is contrary to what often occurs in families, who limit evening fluids in their children with bedwetting.

The authors hypothesized that more intense use of the alarm system would speed up the development of the conditioned response of awakening caused by the desire to urinate.

In the study of 294 children, with the average age of 11.3, Group A used the alarm with normal fluid intake, while Group B drank either water or any transparent non-colored fluid once immediately before going to sleep. The volume was 4-5ml/kg of body weight, which translates to 6-7.5 ounces for a child who weighs around 100 pounds.

Effectiveness was measured in frequency of wetting episodes per week and episodes of spontaneous awakenings, in response to the urge to urinate. Total length of time of alarm use was not noted.

Complete resolution of bedwetting two weeks after the end of alarm therapy was found in 24% in Group A, but 39% were completely dry in Group B. This difference was statistically significant and shows an improvement in outcome when increased fluid intake is used in combination with bedwetting alarm therapy.

In my book, Seven Steps to Nighttime Dryness, I discuss the use of fluid challenges toward the end of alarm therapy. Fluid challenges consist of drinking an extra glass of water before bed to insure that the child can spontaneously wake to walk to the bathroom. After reading the results of this study, I recommend using fluid challenges earlier in the alarm treatment.

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World Bedwetting Day

“Time to Take Action” is the 2015 slogan for World Bedwetting Day, which occurred on October 17 at the European Society for Paediatric Urology (ESPU). World Bedwetting Day will occur every year in May from 2016 onwards and is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the condition so that children and families can get the help they deserve.

Some facts about bedwetting:
-Bedwetting is a common medical condition that can and should be treated
-This medical condition does not have a psychological cause, in most cases it is caused by over-production of urine at night or reduced capacity of the bladder
– The impact of bedwetting on a child and family is often underestimated and trivialized
-Left untreated, bedwetting will not necessarily go away by itself

Nearly half of parents do not seek out help from their health care provider, believing the child will outgrow the problem and there is nothing that can be done about it. However, bedwetting will not necessarily go away by itself and there are effective and safe treatments that speed up the development of dry nights.

Dr. Søren Rittig, Consultant at the Department of Child and Youth, Nephro-urologic Team, Aarhus University Hospital commented: “As doctors we often underestimate the impact of bedwetting, preferring to focus on other apparently more serious conditions. However, successful diagnosis and treatment of bedwetting relieves the burden this condition places on a child, boosting day time functioning including school performance.”

Bedwetting alarms are the first-line therapy for school age children who have not attained nighttime dryness. The initial step for families is learning that this effective treatment is something they can do at home to end their child’s bedwetting forever. There is no need for parents to idly sit by while their child suffers from the missed sleepovers and school trips. World Bedwetting Day will remind us that more can be done to treat children with this common medical condition.

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American Academy of Family Physicians Meeting

Last week, had the pleasure of exhibiting at the AAFP 2015 Annual Meeting in Denver. We enjoyed speaking with hundreds of Family Physicians who stopped by our booth. Many recommend bedwetting alarms as the first line of treatment for their bedwetting patients, but had never seen an alarm up close. We demonstrated a few different alarms from Malem, Rodger and Nytone and described how one alarm differs from another. One style may be superior for a particular child’s needs and we carry over 20 different alarms.

Some physicians did not offer any treatment for their bedwetting patients because they were not aware of the treatment options. They were happy to learn that research demonstrates that bedwetting alarms are the most effective treatment, getting 80-90% of children to permanent dryness.

The three tidbits that were shared with everyone were:

#1 Yes, many children sleep through the loud sound initially. The parents need to respond and tell their child what to do next.
#2 Yes, the alarm does not sound until the underwear are wet. This is not “too late” but a necessary piece in helping the brain and bladder to communicate and identify precisely when the child needs to wake up. Over time, the feeling that comes with a full bladder is enough to trigger wakefulness.
#3 is a reputable resource for any bedwetting product. Not only do we have the widest selection, but we have the most knowledgeable staff. User questions can quickly be answered by email, chat or phone. Unlike buying from superstores, we actually know about our products.

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