Bedwetting is the most common childhood continence problem…

Many children and young people affected have other continence problems. These include constipation, day time wetting, urgency (having to get to the toilet quickly) or frequency (having to go to the toilet more often than usual).
What a lot of people do not know is that bedwetting can and should be treated in all children over the age of five years. For children younger than this, simple changes might make a difference. Therefore all children with bedwetting should be helped to understand that:
Drinking well is really important to help the bladder work well
• Primary aged children should be drinking about 1.5 litres of water-based drinks a day
• Secondary school children should be drinking more than this and secondary school aged boys should be having up to 2.5 litres of water-based drinks per day
• Children should avoid fizzy drinks as these can make bedwetting worse, by irritating the bladder
• Children should avoid drinks with caffeine in them (tea, coffee, hot chocolate, cola and many energy drinks). Caffeine can irritate the bladder and encourages the kidneys to make more urine
Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables helps prevent constipation. Constipation may cause bedwetting, or make it worse.
• Children who are constipated should have this treated as part of the treatment for bedwetting
They need to try and wee just before going to sleep. This makes sure they start the night with an empty bladder and gives them the best chance of a dry night.

Healthy Ways to Combat Urinary Incontinence in Ageing

There is no magic cure to handling the onset of urinary incontinence. But there are many ways to manage it, and to live the life you want.

Bladder Control

While there are some conditions that aren’t responsive, the bladder can usually be programmed with exercise and training, like any other part of the body. Experts recommend training your bladder by setting a strict schedule for urinating (as in every hour or 90 minutes), regardless of need or urgency. As you do this, and exercise, you can expand the space between voids, until you are in more control.

Lifestyle Adjustments
There are a lot of things a person can do to make their bladder healthier, including:
• Weight loss
• Limiting alcohol
• Avoiding sweet or sugary drinks that put more stress on the bladder
• Less caffeine

Many people need to manage incontinence with adult pull ups and pads, furniture protection, creams to help irritated skin. But for many people, things like furniture pads or urinary irritation creams are not something to talk about, it’s something to avoid and shameful. But that shouldn’t be the case!

Accept that there are some changes you can make through exercise or lifestyle adjustment, and some you can’t. This doesn’t make an older adult less of a person or less capable. And it doesn’t mean they can’t live at home, by themselves or with a caregiver. It just means that there needs to be some adjustments.

Having urinary incontinence doesn’t mean an older adult needs to stop enjoying living. It just means they need to live differently. And that’s part of aging: making the right adjustments so that you can continue to live strongly, age where you want, and experience the life you want.

What is ‘normal’ for toilet training?

Toilet training is an area of normal child development that causes anxiety for many families. However, when a child has a disability it is an even bigger hurdle for parents and carers, although the children, particularly those with learning or sensory disabilities are not usually concerned.
Often families are advised that they should not worry about toilet training until the child appears to be ready for this stage of learning. However, there is no clear definition of what is meant by ‘being ready’. There are some signs that are quoted, such as knowing when their nappy needs changing, asking to wear normal pants, or asking for the toilet. Children do not often reach this stage by themselves and many will not understand that they should be doing something different from what they have been doing since they were born. For many, signs of readiness for toilet training are not present until the children have actually started a toilet training programme.
What is suggested
It is suggested that toilet training should be started early for most children, including those with disabilities. To toilet train a child needs to learn a set of skills including communicating the need to go, managing their clothes and learning to sit on the toilet or potty. With appropriate support children can start to learn these skills from their second year. Toilet training does not necessarily get easier as children get older – it might get more difficult if they don’t see why they need to change something that is working well for them.
If toilet training is delayed, for whatever reason, children should be offered assessment to ensure that their bladder and bowel are healthy. Children with disabilities are more prone to constipation, which may in turn cause bladder problems. Without assessment these problems may be missed.