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Enuresis is produced by a deficit of nocturnal secretion of a hormone called vasopressin or ADH, or by a delay in the maturation of the bladder of these children. Both causes account for 90 percent of the cases that psychologists find in the consultation. Only in 10 percent of the cases the origin is a psychological disorder. Currently, 15 percent of 5-year-olds wet the bed and 7 percent of 10-year-olds also suffer from the same problem.
Juan Carlos Ruiz de la Roja He is a urologist, director of the Madrid Urological Institute and president of the Spanish Association against Enuresis (AEE), he clarifies all the doubts of parents regarding children who pee in bed.
How should parents cope with children's enuresis? What should and what should not families do when they have a case of enuresis at home?
You should never scold or punish these children, as they do not urinate because they want to. Therefore, you have to be understanding with them and take them to the place where they can solve their problem, the medical consultation. Solutions such as punishments only lengthen and worsen a problem that could be controlled and prevented without complications if, on the one hand, the parents were more sensitive to the issue and consulted their doctor. Thus, pediatricians could have tools to facilitate early diagnosis, and therefore, the establishment of treatment.
In many cases, parents do just what they should not do: wake the child several times a night to go to the bathroom, which is an ordeal for everyone. Lots of support and more understanding and patience are the best way to help the child.
What can generate the lack of a diagnosis and an adequate treatment for the child with enuresis?
It usually leads these children to a degree of dissatisfaction and lack of integration with respect to the rest of the children of their age. On many occasions, these children can end up suffering from psychological problems, insecurity, low self-esteem, depression or anxiety.
How can bed-wetting influence a child's life, inside and outside the home?
Currently, 70 percent of children with bedwetting are undiagnosed. The lack of diagnosis of these children can lead to psychological problems, which can translate into lower school performance, or a more introverted character. Children avoid going to camp with their friends or staying over at their friends' houses, for fear that their problem will be discovered. The enuresis causes negative effects on the socialization of the little ones.
Is it true that enuresis can be cured in a short time?
Enuresis is a problem that is easy to treat and can be cured in a short space of time. Treatment is basically pharmacological, but behavioral measures must also be followed. The key is to follow medical advice to the letter.
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