Your son or daughter should try these things to stop or manage their daytime wetting accidents.

Drink plenty

The most important thing to tackle wetting accidents is to get your child to have plenty to drink. They should have at least 6-8 cups* of water-based drinks spread throughout the day. (*Choose a 200ml cup for a seven year old, a 250ml cup for an 11 year old).

Start with eight small drinks every day and increase the amount gradually so the bladder gets used to being stretched. Water is best. A couple of drinks of milk a day is fine as part of a balanced diet. Well-diluted fruit juice or squash can also be included. Avoid drinks containing caffeine like tea, coffee, hot chocolate, cola and energy drinks.

Fizzy drinks, blackcurrant, orange, and drinks containing artificial colourings, flavourings and sweeteners can cause problems for the bladder. Cut them all out for a while, then try introducing them one at a time to see what effect they have on the bladder.

Do bladder exercises

Your child may be able to overcome their wetting by exercising their bladder - by filling and emptying it properly at regular intervals throughout the day.

Children usually need to empty their bladders between four and seven times a day. They need to listen carefully to the signals their body gives them that they need to do a wee, and they need to respond promptly.

If they hang on and wait too long between wees, the bladder muscles will do too much stretching and not enough squeezing. If they forget to go to the loo, they could use a special watch that vibrates to remind them to go. Visit the ERIC shop to view a range of vibrating watches.

If your child empties their bladder too frequently, it won’t get used to stretching to its full capacity. Don’t fall into the trap of getting your child to do lots of extra wees in order to stay dry.

Stay relaxed

The best way for your child to empty their bladder properly is to make sure they relax while they wee. This helps the tap-like muscle (the sphincter) at the bottom of their bladder to open fully to let all the wee out.

Get your child to sit comfortably with their feet flat and firmly supported on a box or stool. Their knees should be above their hips. You may need to use a child’s toilet seat to help get them into a secure sitting position.

Contrary to popular belief, boys don’t have to stand up to wee. Many actually find it easier to empty their bladders fully if they’re sitting down. Encourage them to sit down for some of their wees every day.

What to do if the daytime wetting doesn’t improve

If your child has improved their drinking habits and is acting on their signals to wee, but the wetting isn’t improving, then perhaps the bladder is overactive or ‘twitchy’.

This means that instead of the bladder relaxing to let all the wee in, it squeezes when it shouldn’t. See your GP about a medicine that relaxes the bladder muscles so it works correctly again. The most common ones used for an overactive bladder are called Oxybutynin or Tolterodine.

Some children have a problem called dysfunctional voiding. This is when the two sets of bladder muscles (the detrusor and sphincter) forget how to work together. The first step to overcoming dysfunctional voiding is to check the bladder is filling and emptying properly.

If this doesn’t work, children can be referred to a specialist centre to have treatment called biofeedback. This is a way of teaching their bladder muscles to do their jobs properly.

Where to go for further help

Contact our helpline advisors to discuss your child’s daytime wetting. They will offer ideas on how to manage the problem.

Special clinics exist for children and young people with wetting problems. The clinics are usually run by school health nurses, or sometimes by paediatricians or paediatric continence nurses. Ask your GP or school nurse who runs the clinic in your area. When you go to the clinic, you’ll be asked lots of questions about your child’s wees and poos to help work out why they’re wet. Then you can choose the most appropriate treatment together.

If your child’s wetting still doesn’t improve, they might be referred to a urologist for further investigation.

Wetting is not as big a problem if you can find ways to manage it. We stock lots of products in the ERIC shop which might help, for example a range of special pants with a washable pad sewn into them and child-sized disposable pads.