Urinary incontinence in children

2018-06-07 06:01

URINARY incontinence in children refers to the loss of bladder control, which results in the accidental passage of urine. Children may wet themselves during the day (daytime incontinence) or night (bed wetting).

Most children have gained daytime bladder control by the age of four. If a child regularly wets during the day after this age, professional advice is necessary.

Most wetting occurs because the bladder is not working normally. The child feels an urgent need to use the toilet and may leak urine on the way.

It can occur if the child has the habit of putting off going to the toilet and wets when the bladder is overfilled. More serious causes are abnormalities in the nerves that control the bladder or structural abnormalities of the urinary tract. Urinary tract infections are also a cause of incontinence.

Daytime or bedwetting can be associated with diabetes, constipation, or may be due to psychological stressors or anxiety.

There are blood, urine and special x-ray tests that can be done to detect the cause of incontinence.

Treatment may involve taking medication or behaviour changes to assist in retaining urine.

A paediatric nephrologist can assist with the investigation and management of this condition.

For more information on this and other paediatric conditions, please contact Dr Rashinta Moodley on 031 566 5195/031 537 4125.

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