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.