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A to Z: Enuresis

Enuresis (bedwetting) is a condition where someone has trouble controlling his or her urination (pee).

More to Know

Bedwetting is extremely common among young kids but can last into the teen years. Doctors don't know for sure what causes bedwetting or why it stops. Bladder control may mature more slowly in some kids. Bedwetting also tends to run in families. Most of the time bedwetting by itself is not a sign of any deeper medical or emotional issue.

Simple behavior changes, such as reducing fluid intake at night and using the bathroom before going to sleep, can help prevent nighttime accidents. Bedwetting alarms also can help speed this process along. A sensor is attached to the child's underwear or mattress pad. If it detects urine, the alarm goes off so the child can wake and go to the bathroom. In a few instances, medicine might be used, but it does not cure the bedwetting and may cause side effects.

Keep in Mind

Kids usually grow out of bedwetting as they get older. Bedwetting that begins abruptly or is accompanied by other symptoms can be a sign of another medical condition, so talk with your doctor.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

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