Dealing with Daytime Wetting

May 26, 2009
Daytime wetting is quite a common problem among school-age children, who were previously toilet trained but who started wetting their pants during the day. For many parents and their children, daytime wetting can be a stressful experience, leading to low self-esteem and other emotional problems.
Daytime wetting or also called diurnal enuresis is an involuntary wetting in a child who is considered to be old enough to have bladder control. Daytime wetting is considered to be more prevalent among girls than in boys, though the problem of bedwetting is often thought to be widespread among boys.

Causes of daytime wetting

Holding of urine until the last minute

It is quite common for children to have daytime wetting due to holding their urine until the last minute because they are absorbed in some other activity like computer game. Usually, a child feels the urge to urinate and starts fidgeting, trying to suppress the signal. The child may decide to put off his visit to the bathroom and it results in wetting. Some children have occasional daytime wetting due to the fact that they did not manage to reach the bathroom on time.


The problem of daytime wetting is widespread among children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Many of these children have an urge syndrome, when a child tries to suppress unstable detrussor contraction, which results in wetting.

Urinary Tract Infection

UTI is also often the cause of daytime wetting for children. Usually, other symptoms of urinary tract infection are present, like painful or burning sensation during urination, irritability, and unexplained fever or other. Many children may also have other disorders like urge syndrome, neurogenic bladder and labial fusion.

Stress Incontinence

Stress incontinence in children is caused by intra-abdominal pressure. Daytime wetting due to stress incontinence often occurs during laughter, coughing, sneezing and physical activity.


In some cases, constipation can contribute to daytime wetting for children. The pressure of the stool may cause contraction of detrussor muscle. Often daytime wetting associated with constipation is met among children with an urge syndrome and neurogenic bladder.
Other less common causes of daytime wetting include anatomic abnormalities, emotional stress, daytime frequency, Hinman Syndrome, neurogenic bladder and others.

Tips to Deal with Daytime Wetting

  • One of the most common methods to treat daytime wetting is timed voiding. Encourage your child to visit the bathroom every 2 hours to develop a habit of releasing the bladder to avoid accidental leakage. If your child has to go to a long game or a lunch it would be reasonable to tell your child visit the bathroom before it.

  • You can also time your child visits with a help of a vibrating watch or an invisible clock that can vibrate at set intervals throughout the day. Watch with vibrating function or a invisible clock is more preferable than alarm watch often used for bedwetting problems as it won't attract too much attention to your child.

  • Use protective washable absorbent briefs that absorb liquids to help your child preserve confidence. These pants can be worn during everyday activities so that your child won't be stressed if daytime wetting occurs.