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Bed-Wetting Associated with Developmental Delays

Study finds that young children who bed-wet are slower to achieve motor-skill and language milestones

TUESDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Bed-wetting in young children may indicate a delay in the development of their central nervous system, according to a study published in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Jacques Montplaisir, M.D, of Hopital du Sacre-Coeur de Montreal, Quebec, and colleagues studied 1,666 Canadian children born from 1997 to 1998, at ages 29, 41 and 53 months, to evaluate the relationship between bed-wetting and various developmental milestones.

The researchers found that 10% of the children were bed-wetting at 53 months. Boys who bed-wet were less likely to have achieved motor skills such as sitting up without support for 10 minutes at age 5 months, while girls who bed-wet were more likely to have been prematurely born and have hyperactivity and inattention. Children who bed-wet were also less likely to achieve language milestones.

The study "raises the issue of how to treat bed-wetting when it does occur," states the author of an accompanying editorial. Non-pharmacological treatments, such as urine alarms, "are available for bed-wetting but the majority of pediatricians are not trained in their implementation, the treatments require more time than simply prescribing a medication, and they have not been widely adopted by physicians. Despite these constraints, evidence-based behavioral treatment remains more effective than pharmacological treatments in the long-term management of nighttime wetting problems."

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