Nurses Guide For Dealing with Child, Youth, or Teen Incontinence

Our children grow out of the toddler years and into the school age finding they still having urinary accidents. Mostly these accidents happen at night, but never the less, it is very embarrassing and can cause social issues.

Many parents have the tendency to take this issue lightly stating they will outgrow the problem. And yes, most of the children will outgrow the issue as their bladder matures. Meantime the child or youth is very embarrassed about urinating in their clothes or bed. Sometimes this can keep a child from spending the night with a friend or worse, not wanting to attend school in fear of embarrassment.

There are several things we can do to help this age group.
  1. Your child or youth can wear disposable or reusable pull-ups or briefs to contain the urine. There are disposable pull-ups that look and feel like real underwear, but absorb the leaking urine. These pull-ups are made in sizes specifically for the school age child and youth. You can see these products at

  2. Reduce the beverages in the diet that are diuretics. Stay away from sodas, coffee, carbonated drinks, and alcohol.

  3. Common offending foods are spicy foods, tomato-based foods, citrus fruits and juices. Some of these foods may irritate the bladder. Perform self tests with these foods by eliminating them from the diet and then reintroduce the food type one at a time to see how the bladder responds.

  4. Kegal Exercises; Yes, we are never too young to start the Kegal Exercises. Parent and child can have fun performing these exercises together.

  5. Most of all drink plenty of water. If nocturnal incontinence is the problem, then limit the intake of liquids a few hours before bedtime and be sure and empty the bladder before retiring to bed.

You can learn more about childhood and youth incontinence at WebMD. Remember, there is a psychological component to incontinence at any age. IT is a problem we seldom talk about and yet is very common in many households.

Nancy Weikel RN. Nancy is a seasoned nurse and president of She does incontinence consulting and she also works at West Valley Medical Center in Caldwell, Idaho.