Warm weather, sun, and swimming are just around the corner, and school is letting out! While this can be an exciting time for some, children and adults with incontinence may have a whole new set of obstacles to face.
By the pool, at the beach, going for a hike, or enjoying other summer activities as the heat sets in can be difficult while using incontinence products, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay inside all season.
Check out how you and your child can stay fresh with incontinence.
Summer Incontinence Tips for Adults
1. Stay Dry
Nothing slows down a good time like accidents, which is why it’s important to stay dry in the summer. It's also a good idea to stay dry to avoid urinary tract infections (UTIs) that can occur when moisture builds up.
Choose absorbent adult pull-ups or incontinence pads to quickly catch any leaks. Moisture-wicking materials can also help you feel dry.
Speak with an incontinence specialist to match you with the most absorbent supplies and items best suited for your individual needs.
Also, don’t delay heading to the bathroom and cleaning yourself up when an accident occurs. Go ahead and change as soon as a leak strikes. Feeling clean can help you stay fresh for longer periods of time.
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2. Protect Your Skin
Sweat and other liquids can irritate your skin. Be sure to avoid rashes, chaffing, and infections by keeping your skin clean and dry. Use wet wipes after any leaks to make sure your skin is kept clean, then moisturize the area with lotion so it won't become too dry.
Barrier cream or ointment can protect the skin from irritation caused by excess moisture, urine, or stool, and antibacterial or antifungal creams are typically suited to treat bacterial and fungal infections of the skin.
3. Prevent Odor
Smells have the potential to be pretty embarrassing, but luckily, they can easily be stopped.
Make sure your incontinence products have odor control to prevent the scent of urine or stools from making their way to other noses. In addition, wear incontinence products like briefs close to the body to prevent leaks and make sure catheter collection bags are tightly sealed to stop any spills.
You can take deodorizing pills, drink plenty of fluids to dilute your urine, take vitamin C, and avoid foods that cause an odor, such as asparagus, to prevent your urine from having an unpleasant smell.
When disposing of soiled items, place them in a smell-proof bag. An airtight container such as a plastic bag with a zip seal can be used to dispose of things without anyone noticing discreetly.
Also, if you experience a leak, change immediately and remove and wash any clothing that comes into contact with urine or stool. Proper hygiene will keep you smelling great.
4. Prepare for Accidents
Don’t be caught without everything you need in the event of an accident.
Carry a backpack with all of the necessary items you need to change incontinence supplies.
- Wet wipes.
- Hand sanitizer.
- Subtle perfume or cologne.
- Changing gloves.
- Disposal bags.
- Different outfits.
This way, you can quickly change before and maintain proper hygiene before anyone notices your absence.
5. Eat a Healthy Diet
It can be easy to throw your diet out the window during summer festivities, but greasy, fried foods can leave you feeling not so fresh. Plus, they can increase pressure on your digestive tract.
Prevent accidents by maintaining a healthy diet of:
- Lean proteins.
- Foods high in healthy fats.
- Whole grains.
In addition, avoid items such as:
- Caffeinated beverages.
- Spicy foods.
- Items high in sugar.
- Greasy foods.
6. Map Out Bathrooms
Relieve some pressure by knowing where to go ahead of time. This way, once an urge strikes or you feel a leak, you won’t have to rush to find a bathroom in time. Be sure to use the restroom before leaving your home and map out where you can stop during long car rides.
If you’re going to a public park like a zoo or a museum, look up where the bathrooms are ahead of time so you can make stops every couple of hours to relieve yourself. When attending a BBQ or family gathering, be sure to ask where the bathroom is as soon as you arrive.
7. Save on Incontinence Supplies
Enjoy your summer by letting us handle your incontinence supplies for you!
Save more money for extra fun in the sun by qualifying to receive incontinence products through insurance.
Once you fill out our quick qualification form, we will match you with the best items that have the perfect fit to stop leaks and odors so you can confidently hang by the pool, at the lake, go on vacation, and much more! Best of all, they’ll arrive at your home on a monthly basis!
Summer Incontinence Tips for Kids
1. Stick to a Bathroom Schedule
Sometimes having a schedule can help your child with proper toileting techniques. By knowing when it’s time to go, they may be better able to recognize the urge and experience less stress while trying to avoid accidents.
It’s important to note that once school is out, your child may lose track of when it’s time to go, such as after lunch and before recess, so set a schedule for them. Make sure they use the bathroom when they wake up, after meals, every two to three hours, and before bed.
This schedule may be thrown off by vacations and fun days by the water, but keeping it as close to the same schedule as possible can help.
2. Supply Healthy Foods
Summer can be a great time to indulge in treats, but items high in sugar, spicy, caffeinated, or greasy can add stress to the digestive tract and worsen incontinence symptoms.
Ensure your child has healthy options such as whole grains, fruits, and veggies to have an adequate fiber intake.
Keep your child hydrated, as well. Swap out sugary beverages, such as sports drinks and sodas, for healthier options, like juice and water. It’s common to assume that if your child drinks less, they’ll be less likely to have an accident, but that's not true. Dehydration can worsen incontinence symptoms and cause adverse health effects.
3. Find the Bathrooms
If you’re going on a car trip or spending the day at an amusement park, don’t go in blind.
Look up where rest stops are and bathroom locations ahead of time. This way, you’ll be prepared when nature strikes and can hopefully avoid the stress of needing a restroom in time. It can also be helpful to learn where the bathroom is and have your child go first thing when arriving at a family get-together or summer BBQ.
4. Dress for Success
For pediatric incontinence, this phrase is a little different. Instead of dressing for success in a stylish way, make sure your child is comfortable with clothes that are easy to put on and remove in the event of an accident.
Button-down shirts and shorts with an elastic waist are best. Sometimes it can be difficult for a child to undo buttons or zippers to make it to the toilet in time.
5. Plan Ahead
Pack your beach bag full of everything your child might need in the event of an accident.
Take enough pull-ups to last the entire day, changing gloves, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, a disposal bag for soiled clothes or diapers, and a change of clothes.
This way, an accident will be easier to quickly and discreetly manage. Also, chux or underpads can help protect car seats and other furniture such as hotel beds.
Take the stress of being prepared away by qualifying to receive incontinence supplies through insurance! Instead, have a monthly supply of items shipped directly to your own and use all your savings for an even better vacation.
6. Offer Support
Pediatric incontinence can be embarrassing.
In some cases, the anxiety over having an accident can cause children to become withdrawn. They may not want to spend a day at the beach, go on vacation, or a summer sleepover.
Reassure them that their incontinence supplies will protect them and that everything will be alright. If an accident occurs, don’t become frustrated. Instead, quickly clean things up and reassure your child that it’s not their fault, and the trip isn’t ruined! With the proper preparation, you’ll be on your way to making incontinence-free summer memories in no time.
Information provided on the Aeroflow Urology blog is not intended as a substitute for medical advice or care from a healthcare professional. Aeroflow recommends consulting your healthcare provider if you are experiencing medical issues relating to incontinence.