Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust: Healthcare from the heart of your community

Childhood bedwetting

Bedwetting is a common childhood problem that affects more than half a million children and teenagers in the UK. We understand that the fact that it is common doesn’t make it any less difficult for families affected by it.

If your family is having difficulties with bedwetting, which is also called as Nocturnal Enuresis by health professionals, our School Nursing team can provide support and advice to help improve the situation and help you cope.

What is childhood bedwetting and what are the symptoms?

While the meaning of bedwetting may be obvious, for parents, knowing what is ‘normal’ can be confusing and worrying. If your child is aged over five, is wetting the bed more than twice a week and is becoming increasingly upset by their habits, it might be time to ask for some medical advice.

Symptoms to look out for if you are concerned about your child include:

  • a sudden recurrence of bed wetting after a long period of being dry at night
  • a frequent or urgent need to pee – sometimes leading to wetness during the daytime
  • pain or the need to strain when urinating
  • feeling very thirsty all the time
  • a high temperature (fever) of 38°C (100.4°F) or above

More information about bedwetting symptoms is available.

How we help you

The first thing you need to do is to talk to someone. We deal with bedwetting every day and have lots of experience in how to help you and your child. Our School Nursing service is the best place to get advice. Asking your GP or school to refer you to the service should be your first step.

Berkshire Healthcare’s School Nursing service runs bedwetting clinics which provide assessment and treatment for children aged between seven and 19. Children aged five and six are not excluded from being treated, but some may be too young to benefit from some forms of care. This can be determined once you’ve made initial contact with the service.

The School Nursing team assesses every child and, through conversation with the child themselves and the help of their parents or carers, will draw up a care plan suitable for them. The care plan may involve the use of alarms, designed to let the child know when their bladder is full, counselling or medication. Appointments with the service are offered within 18 weeks of receiving a referral.

The School Nursing team mainly works in schools and clinics but, if appropriate, they can also visit a child at home.