Keep your tonsils, kid

Unlikely as it sounds, many doctors say surgery, when used to help kids who have breathing trouble at night, will also stop them from wetting the bed.

But in this new study, researchers found that although many kids who had their tonsils removed had stopped wetting the bed six months later, so had kids who underwent unrelated surgeries, such as hernia repair.

About 15% of five-year-olds wet the bed at night. There are a number of possible reasons why, such as smaller bladders, more urine production at night, or trouble waking up when it's time to go. For some kids "the signal from their bladder to their brain is not enough to arouse them."

Bedwetting may also stem from trouble breathing at night, which can trigger the release of hormones that increase urine production, some studies suggest.

In children, the most common reason the upper airways become blocked is enlarged tonsils. As a result, researchers have investigated whether removing kids' tonsils, a procedure that costs several thousand dollars, helps them stop wetting the bed at night.

By including children with unrelated surgery, the researchers tried to make sure that just having surgery, regardless of type, would not influence the bedwetting.

About a third of the children started out as bedwetters. After six months, about half of those kids could get through the night dry, no matter what type of surgery they'd had.

Dr. Richard Rosenfeld of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery said the findings were encouraging, as they suggest bedwetting may disappear by itself.

"If your reason for doing the surgery is bedwetting, maybe give them six months, and see if they've improved," he suggested.

Tonsillectomy comes with a one-week recovery time, during which the child has a sore throat and can only eat soft foods, study author Dr. John Gavin, a paediatric ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist at University Ear Nose and Throat of Northeastern New York, told Reuters Health.

Instead, parents might want to try medications that let the bladder fill more or decrease the amount of urine produced at night, but there are side effects, said Kalorin.

Bedwetting alarms let kids (and their families) know when they've had an accident and help kids become more aware and wake up more easily. Ultimately, Kalorin said, "most of them just outgrow it."

Do your kids still have their tonsils? Or do they still wet the bed?

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