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Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control. It is also called enuresis. In children under age 3, it’s normal to not have full bladder control. As children get older, they become more able to control their bladder. When wetting happens in a child who is old enough to control his or her bladder, it’s known as enuresis. Enuresis can happen during the day or at night. It can be a frustrating condition. But it’s important to be patient and remember that it’s not your child’s fault. A child does not have control over enuresis. And there are many ways to treat it and help your child.
There are 4 types of enuresis. A child may have 1 or more of these types:
Enuresis has many possible causes. The cause of nighttime enuresis often is not known. But some possible causes may include 1 or more of these factors:
Daytime enuresis may be caused by:
A child is more at risk for enuresis if he or she:
Symptoms can occur a bit differently in each child. The main sign of enuresis is when a child of age 5 or older wets the bed or clothes 2 times a week or more for at least 3 months.
The symptoms of enuresis can seem like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
Many children may have enuresis from time to time. It can take some children longer than others to learn to control their bladder. Girls often have bladder control before boys. Because of this, enuresis is diagnosed in girls earlier than in boys. Girls may be diagnosed as young as age 5. Boys are not diagnosed until at least age 6.
Your child’s healthcare provider will ask about your child’s health history. Make sure to tell the healthcare provider:
The healthcare provider may give your child a physical exam. Your child may also need tests, such as urine tests or blood tests. These are done to look for a health problem, such as an infection or diabetes.
In most cases, enuresis goes away over time and does not need to be treated. If treatment is needed, many methods can help. These include:
Work with your child’s healthcare provider to find out the best choices that may help your child.
Possible problems from enuresis can include:
Call the healthcare provider if your child has:
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider:
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