School camps are part of what makes our education system unique. They’re supposed to be a fun, memorable experience for all kids. However children who wet the bed at night can find the lead up to school camp worrisome and distressing. As parents it is our job to put a plan into place to help reassure our children so they can relax and have a positive experience.
Bedwetting is more common than you may think. Around 5% of school aged children wet at night, so there is likely to be at least 1 or 2 children per class who will be trying to figure out how best to cope with their bedwetting while on camp. Not all children, but most school age children will want to deal with their bedwetting discreetly and you should be able to reassure your child and have a plan in place.
Here’s 5 simple ways to help:
1. Staying hydrated during the day
Drinking plenty of water during the daytime is important so your child is not too thirsty later into the evening. You don’t want your child guzzling water right before bedtime. A good way to remind your child to drink regularly throughout is by using a vibrating reminder watch. Set the alarm on the watch to vibrate regularly to remind your child to take a drink break.
2. Pull-ups or Disposable Pants
Be prepared before camp by placing pull-ups (or disposable incontinence pants) inside the sleeping bag for each night at camp. School camps are usually 2 or 3 nights, so you’ll need to include 1 for each night. Inside the sleeping bag also place some small plastic bags for the wet pull-up or pants. At night when lights are out your child can discreetly put the pull-up on and in the morning your child can discreetly take the pull-up off and put it inside the plastic bag.
3. Speak with teachers and/or the parent help
Make sure at least one teacher or parent knows the situation and can help where needed. Discuss the plan you have in place for your child and ask for help to remind your child to visit the toilet before heading to bed. If your child is using a pull-up or disposable pants, ask the teacher or parent to collect the pull-up from your child’s sleeping bag in the morning and dispose of it discreetly.
4. Hygiene matters
In the morning your child will need to take a shower or they may find it easier to use wet wipes to wipe themselves clean. Discuss this as part of the plan.
5. Have an ‘Action Plan’
Sit down with your child and make an action plan of ways to help them through. You might like to have a practice run through one night at home. Explain the importance of drinking water throughout the day and explain how they can manage their pull-ups in the evening and in the morning. Reassure them that a specific teacher or parent is there to help. Explain that your child is not the only one on school camp who wets during the night. Make sure they know they can speak with a teacher or parent if they need help.
Remember, bedwetting is not your child’s fault. If they could stop wetting at night, they would. Always avoid showing your frustration or anger. Some children grow out of bedwetting in their own time and some children need to use a bedwetting alarm in order to become dry at night.