Bedwetting is the involuntary discharge of urine after the age at which bladder control should have been established.
Medical doctors refer to the disease as nocturnal enuresis, and say it is common in children.
Research has shown that up to 25 percent of children aged four, who should have developed bladder control, and an estimated 10 percent of South African children aged four to 15 years, wet their beds.
Research showed that delayed growth, a small bladder, deep sleep, emotional or social factors and too little antidiuretic hormone caused bedwetting.
Bedwetting expert, Doctor Michael Mol, said bedwetting had a serious impact on a child’s self-esteem, emotional well-being and day-time functioning, including school and social performance.
Mol added that bedwetting was also linked to delays in physiological development. “Children are unique and each child develops at a different pace. It could also stem from being in a very deep sleep or a bowel issue like constipation,” he said.
The problem could also be caused by psychological problems that resulted from issues at school or a change in family dynamics, he said.
“Children are not conscious when bedwetting occurs, which means that they are naturally unaware and not in control of their bladders at the time.
“The best thing a parent can do for a child who experiences bedwetting is not to make a big deal when it happened, and to reassure the child that it was just an accident,” Mol said.
Even after thorough research, there was still no medication that could stop bedwetting – the only solution was for children to outgrow it.
And parents were advised to be patient with their children as their support could help speed up children outgrowing their problem.
World Bedwetting Day was first launched in 2015 by the International Children’s Continence Society and the European Society for Paediatric Urology.