Bacterial pneumonia See pneumonia

bed-wetting Known medically as nocturnal enuresis, this is the inability of a child to control urinating at night. Some children do not attain nighttime control for several years after they have been completely potty trained during the day. In fact, bed-wetting is not considered abnormal until after age five, and even then the situation eventually improves on its own.

Bed-wetting occurs in 15 to 20 percent of all five-year-old children, for an estimated 5 to 6 million children. About 15 percent of these problems will fade away on their own in each subsequent year, so that only 1 to 2 percent of adolescents by age 15 still wet at night. Moreover, 20 percent of children with this problem have some element of daytime wetting.

Cause

Bed-wetting is not a behavioral problem, nor is it related to how a child sleeps. Instead, bed-wetting is caused by a developmental delay in the normal process of achieving control at night. Normally, a hormone called vasopressin is released that prompts the kidneys to slow down production of urine during sleep. Many children who have a problem with staying dry at night do not secrete enough of this hormone. Researchers also have discovered some genetic links that suggest heredity may play a role.

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