When Holiday Stays Spell Disaster: Bed-wetting on the Road

New York, NY
September 24, 2001

Visiting family over the holidays means truckloads of wrapping paper, cartons of cookies and tons of tinsel. It can also mean hot-faced humiliation for children who routinely wet their beds. Bed-wetting, or nocturnal enuresis, affects five to seven million children in the United States, ages 6-12 and beyond. Whether "complicated" or "uncomplicated," "primary" or "secondary," genetic or individual, bed-wetting induces feelings of guilt and shame. To help alleviate the stress of overnight stays away from home, here are some tried-and-true tips from the National Kidney Foundation:

  • Get a physical exam from the pediatrician to determine the cause of the bed-wetting and help you decide if medication or therapy is necessary:
  • Alert the host and/or hostess and put together a plan regarding laundry and linens before arrival;
  • Brief the host and/or hostess on how to downplay the situation and be sensitive to the feelings of the child;
  • Offer reassurance and information to the child, especially the fact that millions of children suffer with the same condition and most outgrow the problem on their own;
  • Remember never to punish or blame the child.