Nocturnal enuresis is common and has the potential to have a significant negative psychosocial impact on children. Most children with enuresis can be successfully treated by GPs. This article aims to assist GPs with the initial treatment of enuresis using sound principles of assessment and triaging.
Nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting) is common in school-aged children. It affects one in five children at 5 years of age and about one in 10 children at 10 years of age.1 Children with enuresis can have strong feelings of shame, guilt and failure, and a sense of being different to others. Often children with enuresis will avoid social activities. The negative impact seems to be greater in older children and in girls.2 In addition to the emotional costs, there are the financial costs to parents and/or carers, as well as time and effort in cleaning. One in seven children will spontaneously become dry every year and treatment should be offered to help others with significant enuresis achieving dryness sooner.