Overnight camp during summers, sleepovers with friends and Outdoor School are experiences that almost all kids enjoy and look forward to. But for about 5% of school-aged kids (3% of boys and 2% of girls), this also causes a great deal of anxiety due to bedwetting.
This 5% of kids shouldn’t have to miss out on all of the fun and memories with friends because they can’t control their bladder yet. And thankfully, there are things you can do to help them get through undetected and avoid any embarrassment. You can bet they’re not alone though. In a camp of 100 kids, at least 5 of them will be going through the same thing.
The top 5 things to do when sending your bedwetter away to overnight camp
1. Talk with your child about a plan
Openly discuss with your child the possible options in order to avoid the embarrassment of an accident. If you will not be there, then decide what the plan is and walk them through the steps they will need to take in the morning and at night.
2. Wear a Pull-Up or other disposable diaper
Discuss whether they will change inside the sleeping bag or if they will go into the bathroom. Either way, have a sealable bag to dispose the wet Pull-Up in and another bag to store that away. If there is a good place to throw it away, that is optimal. If inside the sleep bag is the best option, have your child practice putting on and taking off the Pull-Up beforehand. If they store the wet diaper in their overnight bag (in another sealed bag) put a laundry scent or a rag with essential oils in their bag as well to cover up any odors.
3. Line the sleeping bag with waterproof pads
Use these waterproof pads as a backup to Pull-Ups or disposable diapers which can sometimes leak. These reusable waterproof pads and sleeping bag liners will absorb any urine leaking out of diapers at an overnight camp.
4. See your pediatrician for bedwetting medication
There are medications you can take which mimics the kidney’s function to suppress the amount of urine produced at night. Desmopressin is the most commonly prescribed medication for this. Try it out at home before going to camp as not all dosages are successful. If the maximum dosage still doesn’t keep them dry at night, then you will need to have a back-up plan.
5. Talk to the camp counselors
If your child is ok with it, discuss the issue with the camp counselor. They can be discreet and help the youngest of bedwetters when they need it.
Follow these steps when sending your child to overnight camp and they should have nothing to worry about. Make sure they drink plenty of water throughout the day so they are not overly thirsty in the evenings. Think about getting a top bunk or one against a wall for more privacy. Give them plenty of encouragement and support and they will make wonderful memories that last a lifetime! Keep reading more about the causes or treatments associated with bedwetting.