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

New York, NY (October 23, 2002) - 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 it's 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:

  • Minimize your child's caffeine intake, especially before bedtime. Too much soda at holiday parties can bring on bed-wetting;
  • Schedule an appointment with your family doctor to rule out any other underlying illnesses and to discuss possible treatment options;
  • 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;
  • Minimize the importance placed on bed-wetting episodes and privately praise the child's efforts to stay dry;
  • Play up child's achievements in sports and school work in front of relatives so he can receive positive feedback from family members;
  • Bring absorbent pants along on any overnight stays to combat wetness until your child outgrows the problem;
  • Remember never to punish or blame the child.

The National Kidney Foundation and Kimberly Clark are teaming up to help parents and children cope with bed-wetting. The new partnership will include research, awareness and education initiatives. To learn more about bed-wetting click here.