Misconceptions Around Bedwetting Causing Anxiety

A UAE campaign,called Dry Nights UAE,has been launched to alert parents about the impact of bedwetting in children


Misconceptions Around Bedwetting

Dubai: The psychological impact of bed wetting amongst 5-12 year old children is so severe, and relatively unknown in the UAE, that compared to other life events, bedwet¬ting ranked second as a major concern for young children, only after parental divorce. It is a worrying statistic when Primary Noctur¬nal Enuresis, which is its medical name, is one of the most prevalent ailments amongst young children, with an estimated 50 million children across the world suffering from PNE. That is 15%-20% of children at the age of 5.

Nevertheless, little is known about PNE amongst parents or the psychological impact bed wetting has on children, many of whom will perform poorly at school, the result of a lower IQ and be subject to bullying or have low self esteem as a result.

It is the reason that a concerned group of hospitals, clinics and doctors in the UAE have launched a campaign called Dry Nights UAE that will educate parents around the miscon¬ceptions in regards to bedwetting.

One of the most prevalent misconceptions is that bedwetting has no solution and parents don’t seek help to deal with the problem of bedwetting due to feelings of shame or embar¬rassment. Alternatively parents believe they must wait for their child to grow out of it. Sometimes parents believe their child is being lazy and could stop wetting if they tried.

Although the causes of bedwetting are not fully understood, there are several well docu¬mented causes for bedwetting but the main reason is increase in urine production during night time (which stands for 70%-75% of the cases). Other factors include problems related to urinary bladder or sleep arousal difficulties.

Mrs Greenland, a concerned parent says: ‘At age five, my daughter began bedwetting – I knew it was happening but it became a concern when it happened at a sleep over and as a consequence it became the context for a period of teasing. It was terribly embarrassing for my daughter who understandably felt helpless. I do wish we had treated it earlier but now we have; she has had dry nights for six months straight and her classmates have long forgotten about it.”

Dr Bariah Dardari M.D a Consultant in Pedi¬atrics and Neonatology said; “Treatment for bedwetting will often help to improve a child’s quality of life by taking away any anxiety or low self esteem as a result of wetting the bed. A popular course of treatment is prescribed
medication such as Desmopressin, which is not a trade brand but a safe medication that reduces urine production during night time. Other treatments such as alarms also exist and whatever the course, we are recommending parents seek out professional advice because for such a major concern, there is a very harm¬less treatment available.”

In regards to the Middle East, Dr Dardari says; “The Middle East, by tradition, can be a closed society and many families keep problems locked up, rather than sharing them openly with professionals. And this is why there is a negative stigma attached to bedwetting. Par¬ents are simply unaware about the cause and treatment. In the worst cases they think it’s the child’s fault. But those parents who do come to me, wish they had done so months earlier because it would have saved alot of heartache.”

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