Most children have accidents while learning to toilet-train, but the vast majority do so only rarely—and the problem usually goes away on its own. Yet, sometimes daytime urinary incontinence or bedwetting (called nocturnal enuresis) persists. And when that happens, it’s a good idea to get the problem checked out by a pediatric urologist.
“One third of children who wet will continue to have urinary incontinence (in varying degrees) for the rest of their lives,” says Israel Franco, MD, a Yale Medicine pediatric urologist and director of the Pediatric Bladder & Continence Program. That’s especially true for girls with a type of incontinence called overactive bladders.
Bedwetting and daytime incontinence can run in the family, too. Chances are greater that a child will have urinary incontinence if a parent had it, and even greater if both parents wet the bed or their pants during childhood.