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A UAE
campaign,
called Dry
Nights UAE,
has been
launched to
alert parents
about the
impact of
bedwetting
in children
Dubai: The psychological impact of bed
wetting amongst 5-12 year old children is so
severe, and relatively unknown in the UAE,
that compared to other life events, bedwet-
ting ranked second as a major concern for
young children, only after parental divorce. It
is a worrying statistic when Primary Noctur-
nal Enuresis, which is its medical name, is
one of the most prevalent ailments amongst
young children, with an estimated 50 million
children across the world suffering from PNE.
That is 15%-20% of children at the age of 5.
Nevertheless, little is known about PNE
amongst parents or the psychological impact
bed wetting has on children, many of whom
will perform poorly at school, the result of a
lower IQ and be subject to bullying or have
low self esteem as a result.
It is the reason that a concerned group of
hospitals, clinics and doctors in the UAE have
launched a campaign called Dry Nights UAE
that will educate parents around the miscon-
ceptions in regards to bedwetting.
One of the most prevalent misconceptions is
that bedwetting has no solution and parents
don’t seek help to deal with the problem of
bedwetting due to feelings of shame or embar-
rassment. Alternatively parents believe they
must wait for their child to grow out of it.
Sometimes parents believe their child is being
lazy and could stop wetting if they tried.
Although the causes of bedwetting are not
fully understood, there are several well docu-
mented causes for bedwetting but the main
reason is increase in urine production during
night time (which stands for 70%-75% of the
cases). Other factors include problems related
to urinary bladder or sleep arousal difficulties.
Dr Bariah Dardari M.D a Consultant in Pedi-
atrics and Neonatology said; “Treatment for
bedwetting will often help to improve a child’s
quality of life by taking away any anxiety or
low self esteem as a result of wetting the bed.
A popular course of treatment is prescribed
medication such as Desmopressin, which is
not a trade brand but a safe medication that
reduces urine production during night time.
Other treatments such as alarms also exist and
whatever the course, we are recommending
parents seek out professional advice because
for such a major concern, there is a very harm-
less treatment available.”
In regards to the Middle East, Dr Dardari says;
“The Middle East, by tradition, can be a closed
society and many families keep problems
locked up, rather than sharing them openly
with professionals. And this is why there is a
negative stigma attached to bedwetting. Par-
ents are simply unaware about the cause and
treatment. In the worst cases they think it’s the
child’s fault. But those parents who do come
to me, wish they had done so months earlier
because it would have saved alot of heartache.”
Mrs Greenland, a
concerned parent says:
‘At age five, my daughter
began bedwetting – I knew
it was happening but it
became a concern when it
happened at a sleep over
and as a consequence it
became the context for a
period of teasing. It was
terribly embarrassing
for my daughter who
understandably felt
helpless. I do wish we
had treated it earlier but
now we have; she has
had dry nights for six
months straight and her
classmates have long
forgotten about it.”
H
July/Aug 2013
61