Handling Bedwetting at Summer Camp
Bedwetting (or "enuresis") is common, with estimates that more than 5 million children wet their beds at night in the U.S. Children develop complete control over urination at different ages. If your child is still in this developmental stage, don't worry. Not only are they in good company, but there are things we all can do to help make their summer camp experience all it can be.
Here are some suggestions:
Be sure to indicate in your child's health form that this is an issue for them so that the camp can partner with you to address this issue.
Tell your child that while at camp to stop drinking fluids 60 to 90 minutes before bed and to be sure to go to the bathroom before going to bed. We can help remind your child. If your child takes medication, indicate this on your health form and the nurse will make sure your child gets the medication at the right time.
Let your child know that it's okay to let their counselor, camp nurse or directors know if they have an accident. We know it can be embarrassing so we'll keep this information to ourselves but will be able to help if your child has an accident.
Pack extra underwear and a plastic trash bag to store wet clothes (though we will do laundry as often as needed).
If we're aware that this may be an issue facing your child, we'll be sure to let your child know it's okay to wake up their counselor at night if they need any help.
Also, our counselor can check your child's sleeping bag in the morning, privately and away from the other children, to see if your child had an accident. If that's the case, then we'll launder the sleeping bag while the other campers are out doing activities. If the bag can't be cleaned before other campers return, we can lend a bag and explain, if anyone asks, that the office is fixing the zipper on your child's sleeping bag.
We'll also check in with your child privately and ask if they made it through the night successfully.
Rest assured that we will handle any accidents with complete discretion.
If you've talked to your child's physician, they've most likely told you that this is a developmental phase that will likely pass with time. However, until then we can work together to make your child's experience at summer camp fun and rewarding!
If you'd like to read more about bedwetting, here are some good resources:
National Institute of Health