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Tackle bed problem before 7 - advice

Wednesday October 27th, 2010

Health professionals should be ready to tackle children's bed-wetting before they reach the age of seven, according to official advice published today.

Current clinical practice is to leave the problem until the age of seven - but the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence says this can be stressful for parents and children who want help earlier.

The guidance says parents should be told not to punish children for bed-wetting - and to reward them for good behaviour such as cutting down on drinking.

Kidney specialist Dr Jonathan Evans, who led the guideline development group, said: "Clearly not all parents or carers will need to seek medical advice every time their child has wet the bed. For most young children it is something that they will grow out of as they learn to control their bladder at night and one which parents or carers will be able to manage independently.

"However, some children and young people aren’t so lucky and may need help to become dry at night. In these cases it is important that families visit their healthcare professional to explore the possible causes and try different treatments.

"Even if dryness is not achieved straightaway, healthcare professionals should continue to support the families involved and consider different treatment options."

GP Dr Mark MacKenzie said: "I hope that this guideline reassures GPs and other healthcare professionals that they are treating these patients in the most effective ways possible."

It has been estimated, from UK studies, that eight per cent of nine-year-olds and 21 per cent of four-year-olds experience the problem weekly.

* In a further piece of guidance today NICE said the drug omalizumab (Xolair) should not be used to treat asthma in children under the age of 12 because there was "little benefit".

NICE currently backs the drug for treating some older patients with asthma.

Tags: Allergies & Asthma | Child Health | UK News

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