Bed-wetting relief: a parents' checklist


Child Life is a forum for parents to ask child-rearing questions and share tips with other parents. Call our answering machine with any advice or questions you have. Please check the end of the column for the toll-free number and today's question from a parent who needs your help.

Q: My 7-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son both have a problem with bed-wetting. We have tried many things, and now I am at a loss for solutions. Any suggestions?

-- S.H., Reisterstown, Md.

A: Last week's column covered causes of bed-wetting. Today we deal with treatments. Here's a summary:

* Desmopressin: This prescription drug contains a synthetic hormone that stops urine production at night. It is a nasal spray sold in the United States under the trade name DDAVP. The drug stops bed-wetting instantly, but there are drawbacks. The biggest concern is that the long-term effects are not known.

* Nighttime bathroom trips: One of the most common suggestions we hear from parents is to take the child to the bathroom before you go to bed. Others repeat this several times a night.

* Restricting liquids: Lots of parents cut back on the child's evening liquids and eliminate them completely an hour before bed. Several parents say their children seem more likely to wet if they drink soda pop or acidic fruit juices.

* Exercises: Ask the child to stop urinating in midstream, hold it for a few seconds, then release. The child can also stretch bladder muscles by holding urine for a few minutes rather than dashing to the bathroom at the first urge.

* Allergies and food sensitivities: For one girl in Federal Way, Wash., the culprit turned out to be nuts and chocolate. For an 8-year-old in Phoenix, and two brothers in Rockaway, N.Y., it was dairy products.

While a reporter at the Miami Herald, Beverly Mills developed this column after the birth of her son, now 5. Ms. Mills and her husband currently live in Raleigh, N.C., and also have a 3-year-old daughter.


Here's a new question from a parent who needs your help. If you have tips, or if you have questions of your own, please call our toll-free hot line any time at (800) 827-1092. Or write to Child Life, 2212 The Circle, Raleigh, N.C. 27608.

* Break out: "Our home was recently burglarized, and it has had a traumatic effect on our 6-year-old son," says Laurie Ruleman of Ackworth, Ga. "He continually asks if the robber is going to return. We try to stress that he is safe. Does anyone have any

pointers on how to respond to this situation?"

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