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HealthInfo Canterbury

Bedwetting & daytime wetting in children

Boy on bedWetting accidents are common in young children. Most wetting problems will go away by themselves in time. Other terms used to describe wetting accidents are enuresis (en-yur-e-sis) and incontinence.

Bedwetting is very common in younger children. Around 15% of 5-year-olds and 5% of 10-year-olds will wet the bed at least once a week.

Daytime wetting is considered to be a problem after the age of 5. Most children will be dry by the time they start school. Around 3 to 4% of children between 4 and 12 will have daytime wetting. Two-thirds of these will have bedwetting as well.

Who can help?

If your child is having difficulty with bladder control, talk to your GP. There are several support services available that can help.

Nurse Maude Continence Advisory Service

The Nurse Maude Continence Advisory Service is for children aged 4 to 16. The service can provide products and assessment with a continence advisor. It also has a bed alarm programme if this is appropriate for your child. Your GP can refer you, but you can also contact the service directly. Phone (03) 375‑4273 or (03) 375‑4200. If your call goes to voicemail, leave a message. Messages are checked Monday to Friday.

Public Health Nurse

Public health nurses can provide support for school-age children with some continence problems. Talk to your GP about this service.

University of Canterbury Bedwetting Programme

The University of Canterbury's free bedwetting programme runs twice a year. It is for children 8 years and over who are wetting at least once a week.

For information on the current programme, phone (03) 366‑7001 ext 8691, or email (the phone number has changed and is wrong in the leaflet).

Continence New Zealand

Continence New Zealand provides information and support to people coping with all forms of continence issues. Continence New Zealand also provides a freephone helpline for people with continence problems. Call 0800‑650‑659.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by clinical director, Urology, Canterbury DHB. Last reviewed May 2016.


Page reference: 47575

Review key: HIUTC-12626