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Understanding Bedwetting

A Bedwetting Pop Quiz

Test Your Nighttime Wetting Knowledge (and Learn as You Go!)

Having a child who experiences bedwetting, or nighttime wetting, can be challenging.You may find yourself confused, frustrated or both. The key to helping your child through it is to know as much as you can about the condition. This pop bedwetting quiz will test your knowledge about nighttime wetting and teach you even more along the way!

1. Who is more likely to experience nighttime wetting?

A) Boys

B) Girls

The correct answer is A. About two-thirds of the 5 to 7 million children in the U.S. age 6 and over who wet the bed are boys.

2. In most cases, nighttime wetting is caused by:

A) Drinking too much liquid before bedtime.

B) A child's laziness.

C) Physical reasons such as an immature bladder, low ADH hormone production at night or deep sleeping.

The correct answer is C. All these physical reasons are often causes of nighttime wetting.

"It may take longer for some children to develop bladder control at night, but it is important for the parents to be reassured that the bladder training process is based on maturation, growth and development," says Jennifer Lusk, a nurse practitioner for Texas Children's Hospital Urology Clinic. "It takes the body time before adult-type voiding patterns are able to be established."

3. Ninety-nine percent of all nighttime wetting ceases by what age?

A) 7

B) 15

C) 19

The correct answer is B. Seventy-two percent of kids who wet the bed will outgrow it by the time they're 11, and 99% of kids will outgrow it by age 15.

4. Heredity can play a large part in nighttime wetting.

A) True

B) False

The correct answer is A. Family history often plays a large part in nighttime wetting.

According to Lusk, if one parent wet the bed until an older age, the child has a 30% chance of wetting. And, she says, "If both parents were wetters, the child will have a 70% chance of being a wetter."

5. Constipation can be linked to bedwetting.

A) True

B) False

The answer is A. There is a correlation between bladder and bowel dysfunction because the maturation and development of excretory control overlaps both systems.

"Constipation can have an effect on bladder function," says Lusk. "If there are significant constipation issues along with wetting, and the constipation is not dealt with or resolved, then there is probably not going to be any improvement with the nighttime or daytime wetting. Because of the way the bowel and bladder are situated within the abdominal cavity, an increased amount of stool can put pressure on the bladder. This pressure can prevent the bladder from filling all of the way, it can cause incomplete emptying of the bladder and can even cause some contractions to occur, all of which can cause bladder dysfunction."

6. What percentage of children ages 5 to 10 wet the bed?

A) 3%

B) 20%

C) 10%

The correct answer is B. Twenty percent of children ages 5 to 10 wet the bed.

7. Urinary tract infections can play a part in nighttime wetting.

A) True

B) False

The answer is A. A urinary tract infection can cause problems with bladder control, so it's important that parents consult their primary health care provider concerning the situation. If an infection is present, the bladder can have contractions, which can cause bladder instability, leaking and/or loss of control.

8. What is the best method of managing your 5-year-old's nighttime wetting?

A) Enuresis alarms

B) Wait and see

C) Behavior modification

The correct answer is B. "Usually by the time that a child is 6 years old, there has been maturation of the bladder and bowel, and most children will have stopped wetting the bed," says Lusk. "At my clinic, we do not like to see a child for enuresis until they are at least 6 years old."

9. The use of absorbent undergarments does not prolong nighttime wetting.

A) True

B) False

The correct answer is A. Absorbent undergarments do not prolong nighttime wetting. "Almost all children with enuresis (bedwetting) have a family member who suffered with it, and bedwetting predictably goes away at about the same age as it did for those other family members," says Dr. David Fay, a family physician with Waukesha Family Practice Residency Program and expert adviser for iParenting.com. "In my opinion, special underwear has no relation to when children will begin to stay dry."

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