Enuresis is a medical term for involuntary urination, particularly by children during sleep. So, Enuresis Alarm is another name for a kid’s Bedwetting Alarm.
‘Involuntary’ is the keyword here. Kids who wet the bed can’t help it. They are unaware of their full bladders during sleep, so the bladder just empties of its own accord. This is when an alarm can provide bedwetting help.
Lots of parents don’t ‘get’ what a bedwetting alarm is about and how it can be used to help with bedwetting, where the child is already potty-trained during the day.
A bedwetting alarm teaches a child to recognise the full-bladder signals during sleep through a well-recognised psychological principle called Classical Conditioning or Learning by Association. This is the learning that occurs when a neutral stimulus (e.g. the full-bladder signal) becomes associated with a stimulus (e.g. the sound of a loud alarm) that naturally produces a behaviour (waking up). After the association is learned, the previously neutral stimulus (the full-bladder signal) is sufficient to produce the behaviour (waking up). Bedwetting solved!
Most children will grow out of their bedwetting habit but the longer it takes the more chance there is of the child suffering self-esteem or confidence issues. The statistics indicate that 50% of children who wet the bed at age 5 will still be wetting the bed at age 9. For this reason, many health professionals recommend alarm treatment, where this is appropriate.
If your child has been dry during the day for at least 6 months and doesn’t suffer from constipation, UTIs, or other medical conditions including ADHD or ODD, then a bedwetting alarm may be the appropriate solution.
Some children respond within a couple of weeks of alarm training but most take up to 3 months. Around 10% of children may take longer than this.
Getting involved with your child’s bedwetting training is the most effective way to ensure your child maximises their chances of success. Practising with your child what to do when the alarm goes off, getting up in the night to ensure they are responding to the alarm, and supporting them on their journey is really important.
There are 3 main types of alarms:
Understanding how your child sleeps is the first thing. Do they:
Younger children are often happier to wear a body-worn alarm than older children or teenagers who may be embarrassed to be ‘seen’ with a bedwetting alarm. For this reason, a wireless alarm may be more discrete for them.
If your child has sensitive skin make sure the alarm is designed so that no current passes through the sensor after the alarm has triggered as this can cause acidification of the urine which may result in nappy rash.
If you or your child prefer to use pull-ups for mattress protection then you will need to choose an alarm where the sensor goes directly inside the underwear or pull-ups because sensors which clip to the outside of the underwear will not be effective with diapers as these are waterproof and no bedwetting will be detected! DRI Sleeper alarms have the advantage that all their sensors go directly inside the child’s underwear so they can be used with diapers and pull-ups.
There are many authoritative sources on bedwetting and treatment. However, two books I would recommend which are down to earth and very readable for parents are:
ISBN 978-1-907851-11-7 published by Healthinsights4U
It’s not your fault! Strategies for solving toilet training and bedwetting problems by Joseph Barone M.D
ISBN 978-0-8135-6692-5 published by Rutgers University Press
Disclaimer: For information only. This communication is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your own physician or other qualified health care professionals regarding any medical questions or conditions.
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Around 3,000,000,000 pull-ups are used per year in the USA. From 5 to 10 years there will be approximately 18,000,000,000 pull-ups used. At around $1.00 each, the cost is $365.00 per year or $2,190.00 during the usual period of bedwetting.