Caring for Kids…at Billings Clinic

6 ways to help kids manage wetting

  1. Control constipation. There is a direct link between bladder and bowel function. The bowels must be emptied every day. Almost all kids who wet themselves are constipated.
  2. Empty the bladder every few hours during the day. Kids need to empty their bladder before it feels full. Prompting by an adult, or a vibrating “potty time” watch can help. Tell your child not to “hold it” and let teachers know that he/she needs to be allowed to go to the toilet at any time.
  3. Empty the bladder completely. We can check in the Urology office to see how well your child empties their bladder. If they don’t empty completely, they should try to pee twice (double void) and take 3 deep breaths between the first and second pee to relax the pelvic floor. Have the child sit with their knees spread shoulder width apart and with feet well supported. A step stool may be required. If that is not enough, medications can help.
  4. Avoid bladder irritants. Common irritants include caffeine and food coloring. Food dye is found in soda pop, ice cream, candy, Go-gurt, fruit roll-ups, baked goods, sauces, and lots of packaged foods. Avoid anything with red dye, yellow dye, or blue dye followed by a number. Things that are colored with natural dyes like beet juice, turmeric or annatto are safe. Some children also react to MSG, carbonation, and chocolate.
  5. Drink 5-10 glasses of water daily, depending on age. To avoid nighttime accidents, kids should drink that water at school. Keep a water bottle at their desk to help measure how much is consumed. This is in addition to any other beverages they drink.

    The recommended daily amount of fluids is:

    • 5 glasses (1 liter) for 5 to 8 year olds
    • 7 glasses (1.5 liters) for 9 to12 year olds
    • 8 to 10 glasses (2 liters) for 13+ years
  6. Overactive bladder is rare in children. However, some kids may need a medication for overactive bladder.

If you are concerned about your child’s urinary problems, talk to their pediatrician or schedule a visit with me in Pediatric Urology by calling 406-238-2501.

Erin Grantham, MD

Dr. Erin Grantham joins Billings Clinic from Children’s Hospital Colorado, where she completed a fellowship in Pediatric Urology. She received her medical degree from University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, and completed her Surgery and Urology Residency at New York Medical College. She treats children from birth to eighteen years for all urological issues. Dr. Grantham’s special interests include pediatric urology, bladder dysfunction, congenital kidney, bladder and genital abnormalities, and prenatal consultations. The only pediatric urologist in Montana, Dr. Grantham is excited to bring the specialty of Pediatric Urology to the region.

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