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Health Beat: Beating bed-wetting: Avoiding the horrible C's

Published On: Apr 19 2013 11:12:09 AM EDT   Updated On: Apr 19 2013 05:46:58 PM EDT

Waking up to wet sheets. It happens to nearly seven million American kids.

Waking up to wet sheets. It happens to nearly seven million American kids. 

Bed-wetting is a normal part of the potty training process, but when it doesn’t go away, the worrying begins.

"It's widespread, but it's not something a lot of people talk about," said Penny Noto, nurse practitioner at the Florida Center for Pediatric Urology.


"It's absolutely physiologically normal for a child to wet past the age of six.,” said Noto.

But if it continues after age seven, Noto said there are simple things you can do that could help.

First, avoid what she calls "the horrible C’s."  

"Things that have caffeine, carbonation, artificial colors, too much citrus or too much calcium. All those things can irritate the bladder and make a child more likely to wet," explained Noto. 

Replace the horrible C’s with water or apple juice.

Another "C" to look out for is constipation. 

"It is hugely under-treated and under-recognized," Noto said. 

It's an issue in about 50 percent of her cases, Noto said. When things get backed up, you're pressing on the bladder, she explained.

Noto recommends reducing the amount of dairy, white bread, and white rice your kids eat. Try adding things with fiber, nuts, seeds and whole grains.

Noto said her tips won’t fix the problem overnight, but they have worked for many of her patients.

And did you know bed-wetting can be inherited? If one of a child's parents was a bed-wetter, Noto said the kid has a 40 percent chance of being one, as well. If both parents wet the bed, their child has an 80 percent chance of inheriting the problem.

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