Enuresis (urinary incontinence) in Children

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Contact the Voiding Improvement Program

  • 617-355-7796

Enuresis is the medical term for involuntary urination or “wetting.” Other words for this problem include incontinence, voiding problems or urinary accidents. Most children have control of their bladders by age 4 for daytime control and by age 6 for nighttime control, but up to 20 percent of first-grade boys, 6 to 7, and 17 percent of first-grade girls have problems with wetting accidents.

  • Enuresis can occur at night (nocturnal enuresis or bedwetting) or during the day (diurnal enuresis).

  • There is no single cause for daytime or nighttime wetting, but doctors believe that certain factors, such as bladder capacity and genetics, may play a role.

  • Depending on the type and severity of enuresis, possible treatments include nighttime alarms to wake the child to go to the bathroom, medications, bladder training and positive reinforcement.

  • A visit to a doctor that specializes in treatment of enuresis can help to identify the best treatment option to help your child. Identifying the problem earlier can help reduce stress and emotional discomfort a child can experience with wetting accidents.   

Boston Children’s Hospital has created the Voiding Improvement Program (VIP)  to help children who have enuresis:

  • Expert physicians and nurse practitioners take a comprehensive approach to helping children overcome voiding difficulties. Request an appointment online or call us at 617-355-7796.


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Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944