Our urinary system comprises of kidneys on both side of vertebral column, ureters opening their way out into the bladder and the urine passes through the urethra before finally passing out of the body. Do you also know that there are sphincters present around the bladder so as to not let the urine leak out? Babies empty their bladders automatically, but as they grow in age, they get control over their bladder.
But some children suffer with the problem of enuresis or urinary incontinence (UI). UI is the loss of bladder control which leads to accidental loss of urine. Children with urinary incontinence may not stay dry for long during day & night.
Reasons for UI in children:
- An infection in Urinary Tract may result in Incontinence.
- Diabetes which may result in high blood glucose.
- Kidney problems.
- Damage to nerves.
- Constipation, a condition in which a child has fewer than two bowel movements a week and stools can be hard, dry, small, and difficult to pass.
- Even obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a condition which may result in interrupted breathing during sleep, often because of enlarged and inflamed tonsils.
- Structural abnormalities in the bladder or urethra.
Most of the time the exact cause of UI remains unknown, but it is often a result of more than one factor. Although, UI may affect children, it gradually disappears with passing age, but if it persists then it may lead to distress and embarrassment in children.
How common is UI in children?
More than 90 percent of children can control urination during day by the age of 5 years. But, nighttime wetting is more prevalent in children, affecting nearly 30 percent of 4 year old children. The problems resolve itself in about 15 percent of the children each year, but about 1 percent of the 18 years old, 3 percent of the 12 year old and 10 percent of the 7 year old continue to experience nighttime wetting.
What causes night time wetting?
The exact reason behind the nighttime wetting is still unknown, but structural problems in the urinary tract which is most probably the result from mix of some factors may lead to bedtime wetting. Even disease like hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), OSA and anxiety may lead to nighttime wetting. There is a great probability of inheriting this problem from one or both the parents which may result in nighttime UI.
Let’s summarize the main reasons of nighttime wetting:
- Slower physical development.
- Overproduction of urine at night.
- Structural problems.
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
How is overactive bladder treated in children?
Generally, UI fades away as the child grows and there is no such requirement of treatment. For each year the cases of UI in children decreases by 15 percent after the age of 5. But, if the children do not outgrow the problem with age then options like bladder training, moisture alarm as and medication may prove helpful.
- Growth and development: As the child grows, gradually his body develops control over the bladder, also his bladder capacity increases accompanied with an improvement in response to body signals.
- Bladder training and related strategies: Bladder training consists of strengthening the bladder muscles to better control urination.
- Moisture Alarms: water sensing pad connected to an alarm which rungs when water is detected can be helpful to children in avoiding the problem.
- Medication: nighttime UI can be treated with the help of medication by increasing ADH levels in body.
- Incontinence Products: Companies like Corium Direct have launched a wide range of Incontinence products in the market which can prove to be helpful in avoiding the accidental leakage of urine.
- Eating, Diet and Nutrition: A proper dietary chart with a sufficient fluid intake will prove helpful in avoiding the problem.
Incontinence is very much treatable and children can lead his or her life in a normal way like others after fully recovering from UI.