HELP! My child is still having accidents during the day...

Do you spot your child with a sudden look of panic on their face, one leg on top of the other in a ‘curtsy’ position, holding on for dear life?

Chances are they have realised, too late, that they need to ‘go’.

Daytime accidental wetting is much less common than bed-wetting. But about 1 out of 4 children who wet the bed at night also wet during the day.

If your child is having accidents during the day, your first course of action is to visit your doctor. Once you have determined that no medical issues are the reason behind the wetting, then a good course of action is to start ‘timed toilet trips’ throughout the day.

Here are some suggestions for implementing a ‘timed voiding’ schedule for your child:

  • Keep a diary to record wetting accidents during the day and night, then look for patterns. Do accidents tend to occur at the same times? Does it look like they could be related to meal times? Can you identify any stress triggers?
  • Encourage your child to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Aim for 6-8 glasses of water per day and avoid fizzy or caffeinated drinks. Remember drinking less does not help. With a fuller bladder your child will be able to recognise the sensation to urinate easier.
  • Think about how often your child may need to use the toilet and plan toilet trips around his schedule. Discuss bathroom breaks with caregivers and teachers to make sure the schedule is followed when your child isn’t at home. Visiting the toilet every 2½ to 3 hours should work best.
  • Use a discreet timer to help remind your child when to go. Look for a vibrating reminder watch to suit your child’s needs.
  • If using rewards/incentives these need to be for something your child has control over e.g. drinking well, using the toilet. Reward her for sitting on the toilet regardless of the result, as she may not be able to achieve dry pants initially.
  • Encourage him to take time to empty his bladder fully. Some children are in such a hurry they do not completely empty their bladder. Use a timer, have a special book to read, sing a song, count to 10.

Daytime accidents can be frustrating for you and your child. By having a manageable plan in place you should be able to tackle the problem together.