Research by ERIC (Education & Resources for Improving Childhood Continence) in partnership with UnderJams, has found that more than a third (36%) of children who wet the bed have missed out on sleepovers and other trips away, showing the significant impact of bedwetting on a child's social life. It's estimated that in the UK, over half a million children between five and 16-years-old regularly wet the bed.
The research, conducted by ERIC and UnderJams to launch Bedwetting Awareness Week (13-19 May 2013) also highlights that 64% of parents who currently or have previously had children with bedwetting problems have left it six months or longer before seeking help. A further 34% of parents have never sought support at all.
Jenny Perez, Director of ERIC, says: "To mark the first ever Bedwetting Awareness Week, ERIC has partnered with UnderJams to highlight how many children are missing out unnecessarily on sleepovers and other trips away. There are few other medical conditions that prevent children from taking part in these types of social activities - which form an important part of growing up, and help to build children's confidence and independence."
The survey has found that sleepovers for most children are a cause for excitement and fun but 74% of those experiencing bedwetting problems feel a mixture of fear, anxiety and nervousness in the lead up to spending the night at a friend's house. Furthermore 42% of the parents cited that their child's sleep is disrupted by bedwetting, thus increasing the impact that the problem has.
Jenny Perez continues, "Bedwetting is extremely common in children and there are a number of techniques to deal with the problem. Therefore we're encouraging parents to seek help as early as possible, so they are empowered to manage bedwetting effectively, and ensure their child doesn't miss out unnecessarily on sleepovers and other trips away."
Some parents have taken the lead in trying to find a solution to combat the effects of bedwetting with over a quarter (26%) feeling relaxed when their child goes to a sleepover knowing that they've pre-agreed some tips to deal with any accidents. And parents could benefit from talking to others about their child's bedwetting issues as 40% of those polled have found this comforting and 37% even feel reassured.
UnderJams and ERIC have joined forces to help parents and children sleep easier at night by offering information and practical tips to help their child combat the problem, plus emotional support. Through the ERIC's Sleep Easy animation, parents can view a scenario of a child in the lead up to attending a sleepover and practical tips to ensure they feel confident to manage bedwetting and have fun.