Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0
Almost all children and teens who wet the bed need to get up
during the night to urinate. A bed-wetting (enuresis) alarm,
which is activated by moisture, can help your child learn to
awaken in time to go to the bathroom. The new models are
lightweight and easy for the child to operate. Enuresis
alarms can be used on any child age 5 and up who wants to
try one. On the other hand, they should never be imposed on a
child at any age, even a teenager, if they don't want to use
Directions for Your Child on Using a Bed-Wetting Alarm
- This is your alarm. It can help you cure your bed-
wetting if you use it correctly. Remember that the main
purpose of the alarm is to help you get up during the
night and use the toilet. The alarm won't work unless
you listen for it carefully and get up as soon as you
hear it. Better yet, get up before the alarm goes off.
- Hook up the alarm system by yourself. Trigger the
buzzer a few times by touching the moisture sensor with
a wet finger and practice going to the bathroom as you
will do if it goes off during the night.
- Have a night-light or flashlight near your bed so it
will be easy to see what you are doing when the alarm
sounds. Turn on the night-light when you go to bed.
- Give yourself a pep talk at bedtime. Remind yourself
that you want to try to "beat the buzzer." You want to
wake up when your bladder feels full but before any
urine leaks out. If the buzzer does go off, you are
going to try to wake up and stop urinating as soon as
you think you hear the alarm, even if you think you are
hearing it in a dream.
- As soon as you hear the alarm when you are sleeping,
wake yourself up and close the valve to your bladder to
stop urinating. Then jump out of bed and run to the
- In the bathroom empty your bladder to see how much urine
you were able to hold back. Then work on turning off the
buzzer by removing the metal strip from the little pocket
in your underwear if you have a Wet-Stop, or disconnect the
clips if you have a Nytone and dry them off.
- Put on dry underwear and pajamas and reconnect the
alarm. Put a dry towel over the wet spot on your bed.
Remind yourself to get up before the alarm buzzes next
- In the morning, write on your calendar for that day DRY
(no alarm), WET SPOT (you got up after the alarm went
off), or WET (you didn't get up).
- Use the alarm every night until you go 3 or 4 weeks
without wetting the bed. It usually takes 2 to 3 months
before you can go 3 or 4 weeks without wetting, so keep
working at it.
A Self-Awakening Program for Your Child
While you are using the alarm, it's very important that you
also practice the following self-awakening program at
bedtime. You are trying to teach yourself to awaken during
the night and use the toilet when your bladder feels full.
Until you learn how to do this, you won't stay dry.
- Lie on your bed with your eyes closed.
- Pretend it's the middle of the night.
- Pretend you feel the pressure.
- Pretend your bladder is starting to hurt.
- Pretend your bladder is trying to wake you up.
- Pretend it's saying: "Get up before it's too late."
- Run to the bathroom and empty your bladder.
- Remind yourself to get up like this during the night.
The Parents' Role with Bed-Wetting Alarms
If your child doesn't awaken immediately to the sound of the
buzzer, he needs your help. You may need to help your child
every night for the first 2 to 3 weeks.
- When you hear the alarm go to your child's room as
quickly as you can. Turn on the light and say loudly,
"Get out of bed and stand up."
- If that doesn't work, help your child sit up. Wipe his
face with a cold washcloth to bring him out of his deep
- Only after your child is standing, remind him to turn
off the alarm. By all means, do not turn off the buzzer
for him. Your child has to learn to carry out this step
- Make sure your child is wide awake and walks into the
bathroom before you leave him. If necessary, ask him
questions to help awaken him.
- Your goal is to help your child awaken immediately and
get out of bed when the buzzer sounds. Stop helping him
as soon as he appears to be able to wake up and get up
without your help. Going to bed with the radio off,
going to bed at a reasonable hour, and using a
night-light can help your child respond faster to the
How to Order Bed-Wetting Alarms
Order alarms and parent information from:
- Nytone Alarm: Nytone Medical Products, 2424 South 900
West, Salt Lake City, UT 84119, or call 801-973-4090.
- Nite Train'r Alarm: Koregon Enterprises, 9735 S.W.
Sunshine Court, Suite 100, Beaverton, OR 97005, or call
- Wet-Stop Alarm: Palco Laboratories, 8030 Soquel Ave., Suite
104, Santa Cruz, CA 95062, or call 800-346-4488.
- Potty Pager (silent alarm): Ideas for Living, 1285 North
Cedarbrook, Boulder, CO 80304, or call 800-497-6573.
An alarm may be covered by health insurance if your
physician writes an order for it.