Hi! My name’s Charlotte I’m 9, in Year 4 at school and I have wee accidents when I laugh. When it happens I feel really embarrassed and upset. I’ve got friends who support me but does anyone else have this or feel the same way?

ERIC's reply:

Hi Charlotte,

This kind of wetting is called ‘giggle incontinence’ and is quite common in children your age. Laughing, sneezing and even physical exercise like trampolining can make the muscles of your bladder suddenly squeeze, whilst the 'holding on' muscle (called the sphincter) suddenly lets go and you end up having a full wee accident.

We know that it can be a really difficult and embarrassing problem to cope with. If you haven’t already talked to your mum or dad, ask them to take you to see your doctor as there’s lots of things that can be done to help with the accidents. They may refer you to a special bladder doctor who can teach you some exercises to help control the muscles.

In the meantime it’s really important that you keep drinking well (6-8 cups of water-based drinks are best, spread throughout the day) and avoid the drinks we know can irritate your bladder like blackcurrant squash, caffeine and fizzy drinks. Try not to keep your bladder waiting when you feel the urge to do a wee and always keep a bag handy at school with things like spare knickers, leggings etc. You may also find it helps to wear a panty liner to catch some of the wee.

The main thing to remember Charlotte is that you’re not on your own and help is out there!

Take care,
ERIC helpline team