Bedwetting alarms: Do they work?

Thinking about investing in a bedwetting alarm for your school-ager. The latest statistics suggest they might be worth the high price tag.

Photo: Sean F. Boggs/iStockphoto

A 2012 study out of the University of Alberta by Dr. Darcie Kiddoo (published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in May 2012) saw 66% improvement in kids who used a bedwetting alarm for 14 nights vs. 4% for those who used nothing. Dr. Walid Farhat, a urologist at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, says he sees an 80% success rate in committed children who suffer from nocturnal enuresis.

How it works
The alarm, which has a moisture sensor, is attached to a pair of underpants or a sheet. When the sensor detects wetness, it deploys an alarm (which vibrates and/or beeps) meant to wake the child and eventually condition the brain to wake up before any accidents happen at all. For extremely deep sleepers, parents will have to help wake the child until he or she gets used to waking up to the alarm itself. It doesn’t work for everyone, and systems typically cost around $100 and up, but with committed and consistent use, it may help your family.

It’s important to keep in mind that bedwetters comprise:
* 15% of five-year-olds
* 10% of six-year-olds
* 4% of 10-year-olds

Only 1-2% of adults wet the bed, so it’s unlikely that your school-ager will still be wetting the bed by his or her high school graduation. For more information on school-agers and bedwetting, pick up our February 2013 issue of Today’s Parent, on newsstands this month! Plus, read about how you can help your school-age bedwetter.



Looking for more ways to get your kid to stop wetting the bed? Check out this video:

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