When your child wets his pants

by Diana Burrell

When your child wets his pants

Diapers may be a thing of the past for your child, but  — much to his dismay  — wet pants might not be.

As many as 15 percent of kindergartners and first-graders have daytime accidents, often because bathroom access is more restricted and they’re so focused on all the exciting things going on around them. “They miss the early warning signals their bladder sends to their nervous system, and before they know it, they’ve got a crisis,” says Christopher Cooper, M.D., a pediatric urologist at the Children’s Hospital of Iowa in Iowa City. To make it better:

[BOLD {Tell your child she’s not the only one.}] It can help just to say that lots of kids have accidents and it doesn’t mean she’s a baby.

[BOLD {Figure out what happened.}] Ask, “What were you doing just before?” “Did you get to use the bathroom before recess?” Her answers will help you both figure out why she wet himself, and he can do things differently in the future.

[BOLD {Encourage her to speak up.}] Some kids are shy about asking to use the bathroom at school or even a friend’s house. Tell your child that everybody has to pee, even grown-ups, so they won’t think anything of it if he says she has to go. If she’s particularly shy about it, ask her teacher to suggest she go during natural breaks in the day.

[BOLD {Pack extra clothes.}] Knowing she has clean pants and underwear in his backpack can boost her confidence. And they might serve as a reminder to visit the bathroom more often  — she’ll want to avoid needing them!