ADHD and Bedwetting

Health and Safety
ADHD and Bedwetting

By age 5, more than 80 percent of children have outgrown bedwetting. After age 5, bedwetting can indicate certain conditions, including ADHD. In fact, there is a strong correlation between the two, and bedwetting occurs in 50 percent of children diagnosed with ADHD. This bedwetting may be the result of inherited brain chemistry, difficulty waking or trouble interpreting signs associated with the urge to urinate. All of these are common in ADHD patients. The right medical treatment solves bedwetting problems in the vast majority of children. There are also several non-medical interventions that can help kids and parents deal with bedwetting.

Parents should begin by discussing bedwetting with the family pediatrician, particularly if the reason behind the bedwetting has not been diagnosed. If ADHD is believed to be the underlying cause, medication or psychotherapy may be recommended. The vast majority of bedwetters see improvement with the right medication.

Medication is not always necessary, however. There are some other simple steps that can also help reduce instances of bedwetting. Routines can help children with ADHD cope with its challenges. To reduce bedwetting, the routine should include no fluids before bedtime and a trip to the toilet right before bed.

Another tool in the bedwetting arsenal can include a bedwetting alarm. People with ADHD often have trouble waking in the middle of the night and early morning. This alarm can help rouse the sleeper when bedwetting begins. ADHD patients also have trouble recognizing the signals of a full bladder. The alarm can help make the person more aware of physical signals as they occur.

A reward program may also help bedwetters learn to identify the physical signals of a full bladder. Rewarding the child when they make it to the bathroom on time will require him or her to identify signals that it is time use the bathroom.

It is also important for parents to be very patient. Often, children are as frustrated and anxious about bedwetting as their parents. Realize that this bedwetting has a cause, and one or more of the tips above may be able to help. Each child is different, and it may take several tries before the bedwetting becomes less frequent or stops.

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