Helping Parents Avoid Frustration With Pediatric Incontinence

Nothing can throw off your plans like wet sheets, wet car seats, wet pants, and more, but unfortunately, these accidents can be a normal part of caring for a child with pediatric incontinence. When you have to stop what you're doing to handle clean up, remember that any frustration you’re feeling may be intensified for your child with extra anxiety, fear, and embarrassment. Learn how to help your child cope with a little advice on how to avoid becoming frustrated.

Avoiding Frustration With Pediatric Incontinence

1. Visit The Doctor

If your child is exhibiting symptoms of pediatric incontinence such as the inability to control their bladder, needing to urinate frequently, experiencing dribbling or partial urine loss, blood in the urine, or frequent urinary tract infections (UTI), visit the doctor.

A primary healthcare doctor or urologist may be able to discover the cause. While some cases of incontinence can be cured, others can only be managed. Either way, they will put a treatment plan together to relieve stress by either prescribing a medication, exercises to strengthen pelvic muscles, voiding practices, and more.

Asking the right questions can also help you understand how to better. Write down a list of concerns prior to your appointment such as:

  1. What may contribute to symptoms?
  2. What might worsen symptoms?
  3. Is your child’s urinary incontinence temporary?
  4. What can you do to help them?
  5. What side effects may occur with treatment?

2. Be Prepared

Have the right tools on hand for quick and easy clean ups in case an accident happens. This way your plans won’t be totally detailed and you can keep your child clean and safe while discreetly preventing potentially embarrassment.

While running errands or traveling it’s good to have a bag on hand with a spare change of clothes, incontinence supplies such as pull-ups, wet wipes, and disposal bags to mask embarrassing odors until you find a trash can.

You’ll also want to remain sanitary by having a pair of plastic gloves and hand sanitizer available to prevent coming into contact with excrement.

3. Take Preventive Measures

You won’t be shocked by accidents if you do your part to help prevent them by:
  • Practicing timed voiding. Why wait for the urge to strike just to struggle to make it to the toilet in time? Instead set a regular schedule for your child to go to the restroom every few hours. It’s best for them to also go after waking up, after meals, and before bed. If your child struggles with sleeping through the night try setting an alarm to wake them around the time they normal wet the bed at night.
  • Providing a healthy diet. There are certain foods such as greasy items, chocolate, caffeine, spicy dishes, and refined sugar that can increase pressure on the bladder, leading to increased incontinence symptoms. Provide healthy meals and snacks for your child that are full of fiber and nutrition, such as lean protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Also, give them water and organic juices. Avoid sodas and other beverages filled with sugar.
  • Allowing fluid intake. It’s incredibly common to think that reducing the amount of water your child drinks will lead to fewer accidents, but that’s not the case. That could lead to dehydration and actually put more stress on the bladder.
  • Reminding your child to go. If they’re busy with a board game or movie, don’t skip the trip to the bathroom. Calmly remind them to try and go. If they meet you with resistance, don’t force it. Gently remind your child that the activity will still be there once they return

4. Be Supportive 

Incontinence can be a source of anxiety and embarrassment. If you become frustrated with your child it may feed into their fear, making the issue worse. Remain calm, and let them know everything is fine. Offer them support and help clean them up. You want to be viewed as a trusted source so they will talk to you about their symptoms so you can help and report them to the doctor.

5. Let The Right People Know

You don’t have to struggle with pediatric incontinence on your own. Keeping it a secret may cause a tremendous amount of stress. You can let teachers, your child’s principal, babysitters, friends, and relatives know. They’ll be able to step in and help out when needed. Be sure to give them a list of your child’s incontinence symptoms including:

  1. Their bathroom schedule
  2. Items that worsen symptoms
  3. Where a change of clothes and incontinence products are kept
  4. How to reach you in the event of an emergency
  5. Tips on how to calm your child
  6. Any medicines they’re taking

6. Relax

Remember to take a little time for yourself to de-stress. Don’t let a little incontinence stress you out, it doesn’t have to control your child’s life. With proper planning and care, you and your family will be able to manage the condition. Plus, letting others help and receiving pediatric incontinence supplies through insurance can take a lot of the weight off your shoulders.

Information provided on the Aeroflow Urology blog is not intended as a substitute to medical advice or care. Aeroflow recommends consulting your healthcare provider if you are experiencing medical issues relating to incontinence.