Your bedwetter can be a happy camper

Your child has reached the age where he or she can go away to camp - summer camp! But for some children, the thought of wetting the bed while away from home is a nightmare.

How common is bedwetting? According to the Canadian Paediatric Society, 10% to 15% of children aged 5 wet the bed and 6% to 8% of children 8 years old have accidents at night. Nocturnal enuresis, as bedwetting is called by doctors, is a common problem most children grow out of. Pediatricians know that some kids just take longer than others to stop wetting the bed. By age 15, only 1 or 2 out of 100 kids still wet their beds.

For bedwetting children going to summer camp, the thought of wetting the bed is a nightmare. One of the most potentially embarrassing things that can happen to a child at camp is bedwetting. Up until now they've been able to keep their bedwetting private. They might not have even cared about it in the privacy of their own home. But now the thought of their peers finding out is terrifying.

It's important for families to understand that camp can be enjoyed without the constant worries of nighttime accidents. Talk to the camp director and your child's counsellor to help them understand your concerns and enlist their help. They can remind your child of things they can do to help prevent bedwetting, such as not drinking for 2 hours before bed, avoiding caffeinated drinks, and using the bathroom before turning in. Most camps are very informed and experienced in dealing with bedwetting.

Before you send your child off to days filled with sports and crafts and nights filled with campfires and songs, talk to your doctor about bedwetting. Your doctor can suggest treatment options to help cope with bedwetting, including medications that can help reduce bedwetting. Talking about your child's fears about bedwetting at camp with your doctor can be very helpful. Together you and your doctor can come up with a management plan for on-the-go kids.

Doctors often recommend starting bedwetting treatment before camp so your child can experience a growing sense of confidence. Going into camp feeling in control will really help your little one to relax so they can just get on with the job of enjoying the great outdoors. It will be pleasant dreams all around as they settle in for a dry night... a happy camper just like everyone else.

For tips on selecting the camp best suited for your child, read "Selecting a summer camp."

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