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Bedwetting alarms are essential in the treatment of bedwetting. Studies indicate a 60-80% long-term cure rate when used correctly. For a child who has bedwetting, once the bladder is full, instead of waking to go to the bathroom or “holding it” as the non-bedwetting child does, the bladder releases all of the urine into the bed. It seems that these children’s nervous systems do not respond to the full bladder. In the child with bedwetting, the brain has to learn what the appropriate response to a full bladder is. This is where the bedwetting alarm is useful.
A bedwetting (enuresis) alarm is a device that emits an auditory and tactile sensation in response to wetness. The alarm is attached to the child’s underwear or pajamas in the area that one would expect the first drop of urine to be noticed. When the child wets, the alarm makes a loud noise to alert the child and his/her parents that wetting is occurring. In theory, the child hears or feels this and learns to get out of bed and empty their urine into the toilet. Gradually, over several months, the child learns to respond to the feeling of a full bladder by going to the bathroom before the alarm goes off.
This is a type of behavioral conditioning. It differs from arbitrarily setting an alarm clock to go off at a certain time or by the parents waking the child when they are up. The best type of conditioning is in response to the child’s full bladder and urination, which will vary in time from night to night.
Initially, the parents play an important part in arousing the sleeping child once the alarm has gone off. The parents usually will hear the alarm first. Once the parent hears the alarm, they should quickly respond to the child. If the child is sitting up or moving in response to the noise, the parent can just remind them what to do next — go to the bathroom. If the child is still sleeping soundly, the parent may need to gently shake them, call their name, turn on the light or do whatever else it takes to arouse them.
In order to be effective, the alarm has to work 100% of the time.
If the alarm becomes unhooked during the night, child lose an opportunity for learning.
Our bedwetting alarm is a mainstay in the treatment of bedwetting. It’s an easy step that most parents can take. No prescription is necessary and children over 6 years can learn to respond