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Sunday, 25 March 2001

Six-Year-Old Has Frequent Accidents

Written by  Naomi Baum, PhD.

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QHello, my name is Sharon and I have a six-year-old daughter. My problem with her is that she wets her pants a lot. This happens during the day, and we have run tests on her to see if it is a physical problem, and they have all come back saying she is fine. She gets bladder and urine infections often, which are painful and uncomfortable, and cause her to have more accidents. She tells me she just didn't know she had to go, and what really gets me is she'll sit in it. She says she is afraid of getting in trouble and I've told her that I'm more upset when she sits in it and doesn't tell me.

Her doctors have said it is normal for girls her age to have accidents, and I can see it if she is really busy playing and doesn't realize she needs to go, but that isn't always the case. I was wondering if it could be a psychological problem and I should seek help? She also has accidents during the night if I don't wake her and take her to the bathroom, but I've been told that is because she sleeps too deeply. I had the same problem and grew out of it, so my main concern is the daytime wetting, and then I'll focus on the night wetting. Anything you have to say will be of great help!

AHi! I certainly understand your concern about your daughter. After reading your letter, my overriding concern is the number of bladder and urine infections you say your daughter experiences. It is most unusual for a girl of this age to have recurrent bladder infections and, before attempting any psychological or behavioral interventions or treatments, I would strongly recommend that you consult with a pediatric urologist or nephrologist about the recurring infections.

These are specialists who are experts in urinary problems in young children, and may pick up on something that your pediatrician or family physician did not. Only after an expert consultation would I suggest you consult a child psychologist with experience with enuresis (the name psychologists use for wetting problems). Good luck to you.


Naomi L. Baum, PhD

Last modified on Tuesday, 14 May 2013 15:41
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Naomi Baum, PhD.

Naomi Baum, PhD.

Naomi Baum is the Director of the Resilience Unit at The Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma and the National School Resilience Project. Her work at ICTP focuses on developing programs to build resilience in communities that have been highly exposed to trauma and stress. She has successfully brought her approach to Biloxi, Mississippi in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Her work there included seven visits to the city, she trained teachers, social workers, school nurses, and counselors. She has also worked with the population in Haiti following teh earthquake. She has written about Trauma and Resilience in several published articles and books.

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