A report released today reveals that 46% of parents say their child is still wetting the bed at night when they have started reception class, yet only 9% would discuss this with their friends and other parents. In children over the age of five, wetting the bed during sleep is recognised as a medical condition and can be treated.

The recent research carried out by Ferring Pharmaceuticals shows 1 in 5 (21%) parents believe their children would try to hide it if they wet the bed to avoid personal embarrassment, with this rising to 26% for children aged 15-18 years. However, only 10% of parents in the study said they would feel personally embarrassed if their child wet the bed.

Ferring Pharmaceuticals have launched World Bedwetting Day and are being supported in their endeavour by ERIC and Bladder and Bowel UK (formerly PromoCon).

The awareness day, which takes place on the last Tuesday in Many, was created to educate parents that a child wetting the bed after their fifth birthday should be recognised as having a medical condition. Over 7 in 10 parents however, are unaware of this and a further quarter (28%) would dismiss it as just a part of growing up.

"Bedwetting causes huge embarrassment and distress for children, young people and their parents, making it difficult for them to seek help." Davina Richardson, Paediatric Continence Advisor for Bladder and Bowel UK  

With 81% of parents saying they were unaware of what causes bedwetting, Davina Richardson a Paediatric Continence Advisor for Bladder and Bowel UK commented: "Bedwetting causes huge embarrassment and distress for children, young people and their parents, making it difficult for them to seek help. Due to our reluctance to talk about bodily functions and the lack of publicity and education about bedwetting, many people do not understand that bedwetting is considered a medical condition, when children are five years or older, and that treatment is available.

As children get older the social implications increase, with them avoiding sleepovers, school residential visits and Cub, Scout, Brownie and Guide camps, due to fears of bullying or name calling. There is also a negative impact on their self-confidence and self-esteem, with children and families feeling very alone. Those affected should be offered a comprehensive bladder and bowel assessment, by a suitably qualified healthcare professional and supported throughout treatment.”

The consequences of bedwetting could be more detrimental than just personal embarrassment, as 29% of parents admitted their child would not want to partake in school trips or social activities, such as sleepovers if they wet the bed. Nearly a quarter (22%) believe it could have a very negative effect on their child’s confidence whilst at school.

Sharron Gibson, ERIC's Helpline Coordinator commented: "Bedwetting has many causes, so there is no single best way to tackle it but there are several ways it can be treated. Firstly, any child over five who is wetting the bed should be seen by a health professional, such as a GP, who can find out what the cause is and recommend treatment.

Bedwetting can be caused by too much urine being made at night, a small bladder that can’t hold on to the urine and an inability to wake to full bladder signals. Constipation can also cause bedwetting as a full bowel pushes against the bladder and stops it stretching to its capacity.

"Many parents think that children who wet the bed drink too much, so they limit their drinks, but in fact not drinking enough can cause bedwetting." Sharron Gibson, ERIC's Helpline Coordinator

Many parents think that children who wet the bed drink too much, so they limit their drinks, but in fact not drinking enough can cause bedwetting. A child who doesn’t drink enough doesn’t give their bladder a chance to learn how to stretch fully and empty several times during the day. This means the bladder can’t stretch to hold the wee produced at night."

On this World Bedwetting Day, Ferring Pharmaceuticals and associated parties are keen to highlight the impact of bedwetting in older children and making the recognition that this is a medical condition.

Visit the bedwetting section of ERIC's website for more information and help with stopping wetting the bed.

Notes:

(1) Research was conducted by Ferring Pharmaceuticals via Vital Statistics online panel, with 2,000 UK parents in March 2016.

(2) Ferring is a leading biopharmaceutical organization who are dedicated to developing innovative treatments that can truly effect people’s lives across the world. They have a diverse product portfolio spanning across over 5 different therapeutic area. Headquartered in Switzerland, Ferring are continuing to make a name for themselves with functioning marketing, medical services and sales teams across the world.