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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Daytime wetting in children

Day time wetting is quite common, particularly in younger tamariki (children). It's only considered to be a problem after the age of 4. Most tamariki children will be dry by the time they start school, but round 3 to 4% of those aged between 4 and 12 will have weed (urinated) outside the toilet during the day. Many will wet the bed at night as well.

Causes of daytime wetting

Daytime wetting by your tamaiti (child) can be caused by any of the following:

Helping your child with daytime wetting

The most important thing you can do is be patient and understanding. Respond gently, remembering your tamaiti may feel sad or upset. Reassure them that daytime wetting is a temporary problem.

If your tamaiti is having daytime wetting accidents, try these practical steps:

Treating daytime wetting

Daytime wetting is usually treated with practical steps, healthy bowel habits and sometimes medication. Read more about treatment for daytime wetting.

Getting help for daytime wetting

It's common for tamariki children who are toilet trained to occasionally wet their pants. Take your tamaiti to see their doctor if:

There are also several support services available that can help, such as:

Public Health Nurse

Public health nurses can provide support for tamariki aged 4 years and over with daytime wetting problems. You can talk to your GP about this service, or self refer by phone (03) 383 6877 or email

Nurse Maude Continence Advisory Service

The Nurse Maude Continence Advisory Service is for tamariki aged 4 to 16 who also have other conditions such as autism, developmental delay, physical disabilities or complex medical problems. The service can provide products and assessment with a continence advisor. Talk to your GP about referral to this service.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Page created January 2022.


Page reference: 945673

Review key: HIUTC-12626