Incontinence: A Common Problem
Millions of children suffer from urinary incontinence or accidents.
Let’s talk about incontinence – because there are lots of causes, and most can be easily overcome!
Daytime urinary incontinence is broadly defined as involuntary, sporadic leaking of urine throughout the day in children 5 and under. Many children gain control over their bladders between the ages of 2 and 4. By age 4, when most children can stay dry all day, daytime wetting can be upsetting and embarrassing. If daytime wetting is causing your child anxiety or affecting their social relationships, you may want to talk to your pediatrician about strategies to help.
Some children’s bladders are not large enough to hold their urine, while others may experience spasms that cause urine leakage. Most children experience urine accidents due to more common issues such as holding, distractions, and delaying. You’ve seen your child get really wiggly but still refuse to stop what they are doing to go to the bathroom – because it’s not as much fun as whatever they are doing. By the time they are paying attention to their bladders, it’s too late. Other causes of daytime wetting may be infections, constipation, or consumption of certain beverages like sodas that may irritate the bladder.
Many children have what we call urge incontinence, which means they have the urge to go but cannot get to a toilet quickly enough. Be observant and discerning, learn their patterns of behavior and watch for the signs, then quickly get them to a bathroom!
Some children, especially girls, can have giggle incontinence, similar to stress incontinence. Giggle incontinence usually implies a temporary relaxation of the pelvic sphincter muscles, and then a full or partially full bladder pushes the urine out when they are laughing, straining, or during vigorous activity or exercise.
The best way to avoid daytime accidents is to establish a regular bathroom schedule, not delay when the urge is present, and encourage your child to take time to relax and allow their bladder to completely empty each time they are on the toilet. You can assist him or her by helping them establish a regular bathroom schedule throughout the day and routinely reminding them to go.
A reminder watch like the WobL Watch and WobL+ Watch can be very useful when teaching consistent bathroom habits. WobL watches feature a countdown timer that can be set to alarm (vibrate and/or audible) to remind your child when it’s time to visit the bathroom at regular intervals throughout the day. The watches can also be programmed with discrete alarms for medicine or meeting reminders, and they have a stopwatch feature. Available in both water-resistant and waterproof models.
A WobL countdown reminder watch takes the pressure off of Mom and Dad – no more remembering to remind your child when to go. Let WobL do it for you!
It is always recommended to check with your doctor to make sure there are no underlying health problems to be addressed.