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Urinary and Genital Disorders (Children)

Bad Dreams and Day/Night Wetting

07/06/2011

Question:

We have just moved to a new town 4 months ago. In about the last month, my 4 year old son wakes up 2 or 3 times a night saying he`s having a bad dream and seems scared to sleep in his room, even though his big brother is in there with him. We went away camping over the weekend. Since then he keeps wetting himself day and night he dosen`t know he`s doing it. Our sons are really happy. He dosen`t seem to be affected by our move and loves his new nursery. We have been here 4 months but the bad dreams and wetting have just started. We talked to him about it but he just says he`s scared and doesn`t want to go to bed.

Answer:

If your child was previously dry for 3 consectutive months, his new development of bedwetting is called secondary enuresis. Your history is more complicated however in that your son is now having daytime bedwetting which means that the problem is not just sleep related.

A careful psychological history should be pursued in all children with secondary enuresis since psychological issues such as situational stress, separation from parents, anxiety, and abuse/neglect may be commonly associated with secondary enuresis. New medical problems may also be a cause including:

A history of weight loss, increased thirst, foul smelling urine or leg weakness/pain may be important clues.

I would suggest that your child be evaluated by a pediatrician or family practice physician ASAP for the symptoms of daytime and nighttime wetting that has occurred relatively quickly.

For more information:

Go to the Urinary and Genital Disorders (Children) health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Mark   Splaingard, MD Mark Splaingard, MD
Clinical Professor of Pediatrics
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University