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April 11, 2018
How to manage a School or Sport Camp when your child wets the bed occasionally or regularly?
If a child wets the bed at school camp it is likely to become a major concern. This should be avoided if at all possible.
Sometimes the child is not worried and desperately wants to go on the camp, having missed the camp the previous year but parents are understandably dreading what might happen. The child may not understand the ramifications of what could happen.
Unfortunately we often receive a call only a few weeks before the event. It is best to commence a program to solve the problem six months before camp. Most children achieve success within three months. This leaves and another three months to build confidence that the issue is completely sorted.
With very young children it may be possible to discuss the bedwetting with a teacher and with discreet measures implemented at the camp without causing any embarrassment. For five and six year olds there will be numerous children in the same situation. It may involve wearing pull-ups under pyjamas and having somewhere to easily dispose of these in the morning.
We recommend older children concentrate on getting the problem sorted and wait until next year's camp. The risk of embarrassment and everyone in the class or sport team becoming aware has to be considered. If the child thinks they can wear disposable absorbent underwear or pull-ups and dispose of them discreetly then this is an option. Wet pyjamas are not an option.
Medication is generally not suitable as a last minute step for school camp if the child wets regularly as it may improve the situation by reducing the number of wet nights without stopping the bed wetting altogether. If medication is going to be relied upon then we recommend that it be tested in advance for a few weeks to check it works consistently.
We normally recommend medication is trialled after the standard treatments have been used. Often the issue is not addressed though until the notice comes home from school with the dates for the school camp.
The important thing is to start treatment for the issue with a comprehensive four step plan including steps involving improved drinking habits, treatment for a sluggish bowel and a bedwetting alarm to address the deep sleep.
Some children will have lighter sleep on the first night of the camp as they are in a different environment and this means they are less likely to wet, however, if the camp is for more then one night children usually become quite tired so the risk of a bed wetting episode becomes much higher.
Trying to attend a camp when the problem has not been resolved can put a huge amount of stress on older children. They may not be able to benefit from or enjoy the camp at all.
We live in the days of mobile phones with images, posts, and messages. What used to be a minor incident quickly forgotten can unfortunately escalate these days.
The best advice is to start a treatment program and try and get the problem sorted. We have found that with persistence and the right treatment even older children and teenagers can get this issue sorted on a permanent basis.
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