Bedwetting and summer camp

Are you thinking of sending your child to summer camp, but concerned about bedwetting? If so, you're not alone. Families affected by bedwetting may have a number of concerns about summer camp. Your child may not want to go due to fear of being "discovered" and teased by friends. As a parent, you may worry about whether sending your child to camp is the right decision and wonder how best to prepare your child.

The good news is that, with the right preparation, your child can have a great experience at summer camp. Here's how to get ready.

Talk to your doctor. Before you plan your child's camp adventure, make a quick visit to the doctor. Your child's doctor can offer treatment options for managing bedwetting and suggest options that may be appropriate for your child. Your doctor may suggest a variety of options appropriate for your child, including medication and non-medication options. Non-medication options such as family counselling and bladder exercises should be used in conjunction with any medication therapy.

Don't forget to pack the medication. If your child uses medication for bedwetting, don't forget to bring your child's bedwetting medication with you to the camp.

Choose a camp wisely:

  • Get your child involved. To help your child feel less anxious, get them involved in deciding which camp they will attend. Gather information on a variety of different camps that are appropriate for your child's age, personality, interests, and maturity level, and give your child the option to choose the one they like best.
  • Do your homework. When considering camp options to present to your child, contact the camp to find out how they handle bedwetting, and to make sure that you're comfortable with the assistance they can offer your child. Speak to the camp director before your child arrives so that they are aware of the issue and will be able to help your child discreetly if bedwetting does occur.

Make a bedwetting "game plan" with your child. Your child will feel more confident if they have a "game plan" for managing bedwetting challenges. Rehearse this plan with your child before they leave for camp. Your plan may include:

  • advising your child on how to choose a bunk (bottom bunks are best, as this makes it easier to get to the bathroom) and find out where the toilets are
  • packing a flashlight and an extra change of pyjamas that they can keep next to the bed (your child may also want to bring a waterproof sleeping bag liner so they won't need to wash out their sleeping bag)
  • giving instructions what to do if they wet the bed and where to go for help (i.e., camp counsellor)
  • teaching your child how to use their medication properly, if they are taking medication (your doctor or pharmacist can help)

By planning ahead, you can help your child manage bedwetting challenges and have a great time at summer camp!

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