Incontinence In Children

Date: 15/07/21

Incontinence in Children

Incontinence in children is common and will normally resolve itself without the need for medical intervention. Babies and toddlers up to around three years old do not have full bladder control and will need to wear nappies. IncoDirect has a full range of nappies available for direct home delivery, from premature nappies to larger sizes, pull-ups and sleep pants.

With effective ‘potty training’, around 90% of children will have bladder control by the age of 5, although girls often gain full control before boys. It is important to understand that children develop at different rates and your doctor may not consider a diagnosis of incontinence until at least age six or seven. You should also remember that wetting, or enuresis, is not the child’s fault, and that they should not be told off or made to feel ashamed if it happens. This kind of stress and anxiety will only make the problem worse.

Types of incontinence in children

Children can be incontinent during the day or at night, often known as ‘bed-wetting’, or they may have a combination of both. Bed wetting is a very common condition, affecting 10% of children by the age of seven and 3% by the age of ten. One in a hundred young people will still experience some night-time incontinence at age eighteen. Again, incontinence varies with gender, with girls more prone to daytime incontinence and boys more prone to bed wetting.

Causes of incontinence in children

In the vast majority of cases, childhood incontinence is not a medical problem and will resolve itself over time with a positive approach from both parents and children. By all means talk to your GP if you have concerns, but it is not normally anything to worry about.

In some cases, there are medical or physical causes behind childhood incontinence, ranging from neural issues, such as spina bifida, to urinary tract infections. In rare cases, the cause may be structural, where the bladder or the connecting tubes have not formed as they should, leading to problems with voiding urine. If they are concerned about a medical or physical cause, your doctor will check for these during your appointment.

Sometimes, childhood incontinence can be caused by an emotional issue. Stressful events, such as moving house, starting or changing schools, the loss of a loved one or a family pet, or marital problems in the home can cause a child to develop problems. Premature babies also require much smaller nappies, therefore specific premature nappies are also available.

Treating childhood incontinence

There are many ways to help your child gain, or regain, control of their bladder. Though it might seem counter-productive, it is important to ensure that they have plenty to drink, as concentrated urine will irritate the bladder. Avoid caffeinated drinks, such as cola, or fruit juices, as these will irritate the bladder, and try to manage their drinking through the day so that they need to drink less before bed.

Establishing a toilet routine, including waking them at night, can help to train the bladder. Remember that going for a wee is not as much fun as playing or watching TV, so they will often rush it. You need to encourage them to fully empty their bladder every time. Try getting boys to sit down on some visits, as this can help them empty their bladder more fully.

Living with childhood incontinence

In most cases, living with childhood incontinence is just a matter of being patient as the problem will normally resolve itself over time. Being prepared can help reduce the stress levels for both you and your child, so make sure you have a spare set of clothes with you when you go out, and use mattress and seat protectors to protect furniture around your home. Try to stop any teasing by siblings or friends, as this will only increase anxiety and potentially make the problem worse.

At the end of the day, childhood incontinence is normal in as many as one in ten children. Once your GP has ruled out any medical cause, you just need to work through it together as calmly and cooperatively as possible.

Incodirect stock a large range of nappies and premature nappies for children and babies. All of our barrier creams are recommended for use with incontinence products, but some skin lotions that contain oil based ingredients block the pads and stop the sap inside working effectively at absorbing the fluid.  Heavy cream products that do not absorb into the skin to create the barrier and sit on the surface.

 We offer fast uk delivery available, direct to your home.

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