Bladder problems in children can become an ongoing issue, even into their teenage years. Here’s some expert advice on how to tackle the sensitive subject in your family.Â
Talk about the problem and support your child. Teenage years can be a challenging time without the extra concerns about bladder control. Sleepovers and days out with friends can become a real issue and your child can start to feel isolated and develop low self-esteem.
Just going back to basics and having a good understanding of how a healthy bladder and bowel work can be a good start. Check out reliable patient information sites on the internet. Emphasise the fact that itâ€™s a common problem and if you are part of a family unit then deal with the issue sensitively so your child doesnâ€™t feel any shame.
2) TipsÂ from theÂ telly
Itâ€™s easy to keep an eye on a younger childâ€™s eating and drinking habits but becomes more of a challenge with a teenager. They are at an age where they can make their own lifestyle choices. Sometimes just giving them the relevant information in a form thatâ€™s easy to understand can work better than nagging. Programmes such as â€˜Embarrassing Bodiesâ€™ have brought what were taboo subjects into the public eye. You can search for episodes that featured particular conditions.
Encourage your teenager to look at a â€˜typical dayâ€™. They know what they should be drinking and they know they should be weeing every three hours. By checking the details you can pick up on the reality of their day to day routine. It can be a real surprise! How many times do they grab a drink and how often do they empty their bladder?
Adequate fluids and a sensible time between weeing can often be seen over the weekend, but things canÂ change at school. Itâ€™s common for teenagers to avoid using the school toilets and to drink very little during the day. It can be a real challenge to maintain healthy bladder habits during the week. Together look at strategies to make this easier.
4) Ones and twos
If itâ€™s hard to talk to a teenager about bladder problems itâ€™s even more difficult to discuss bowel habits. Yet constipation can make bladder symptoms worse so â€˜talk about pooâ€™. A balanced diet helps to keep a stool soft and easy to pass. Eating breakfast and having a hot drink before school can cause the bowel to kick in so you child can have a bowel movement at home.
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