Bedwetting in school-aged children is not uncommon and often nothing to be worried about (apart from having to do extra loads of washing!). If wet beds have become a problem – and you’ve ruled out any medical causes – a bedwetting alarm is one option to help your child become dry at night.
Emily from Bedwetting Alarm 101 is joining us today to answer your questions about what a bedwetting alarm is, when you should use one and how to select the right one for your child.
Bedwetting alarms are medical devices used to treat nocturnal enuresis (urinating while alseep). Using an alarm decreases the number of accidents in about two thirds of children. Also, about half the children remain dry after the treatment is completed.
When to use a bedwetting alarm
A bedwetting alarm should be used when nightly incontinence becomes a problem. However, children under 5 years old have a hard time grasping the concept of what a bedwetting alarm is and they may seem reluctant to use one. As a general rule of thumb, children who are 6 and older are good candidates as long as they are willing to try the treatment.
How efficient are they?
Studies show alarms for night-time enuresis have a high long-term success rate, as long as the patient is persistent. Using a high quality alarm is crucial, but reassurance for the child and understanding that wetting the bed at night is not within the child’s control is equally important.
How the alarms work
Bedwetting alarms feature a unit and a sensor. Whenever the sensor detects urine, the alarm goes off. The child then wakes up and finishes off in the toilet. In time, this conditioning method trains the patient to wake up when their bladder is full. Also, the child will develop strong bladder control and they will be able to sleep through the night without any accidents.
Different Types of Alarms
There are 3 types of bedwetting alarms: wearable, wireless and pad-type.
Wearable alarms feature a sensor attached to the patient’s underwear and the unit is attached to the pyjama. This makes urine detection almost immediate. The sensor is connected to the alarm unit via a wire.
Chummie Premium is one of the best wearable alarms on the market. The sensor is fast and accurate, it comes with 8 alarm tones and has a vibrate mode for discretion. The only drawback of using this alarm is that it’s not loud enough for heavy sleepers.
Wireless alarms feature a sensor that communicates with the alarm unit wirelessly. Also, the unit is not attached to the patient’s pyjamas, and can be placed anywhere in the room. Newer wireless models come with several units, allowing both the parents and the child to have an alarm in their room.
Pad-type alarms feature a sensor sewn directly into a pad. The pad is placed on the mattress and the child sleeps on top of it. The unit is connected to the pad through a wire, and it is usually placed on the bedside stand.
Convincing Your Child to Use the Alarm
Some children are not entertained by the idea of wearing a bedwetting alarm. The following tips will help get your child used to the idea of using them:
- Clearly explain that an alarm can help treat bedwetting permanently.
- Let the child play with the alarm.
- Showcase all the cool features: different ring tones, flashing LEDs, etc…
- Buy an alarm made specifically for kids. These are usually colored and cool-looking. Visit Bedwetting 101 to find reviews of different alarms for boys and girls.
- Be patient. Bedwetting does not go away overnight. It may take up to 5 months of treatment to change the child’s behaviour using an alarm.
Bedwetting alarms have one of the most long-lasting success rate and should be taken into consideration if your child is negatively affected by bedwetting on a regularly basis.
Have you tried a bedwetting alarm? Tell us your thoughts and tips!